This year has seen a tremendous spike in the number of cases alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2710, a statute enacted in 1988 in response to the Washington City Paper’s publication of a list of films that then-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork had rented from a video store. The statute was originally intended to “allow consumers to maintain control over personal information divulged and generated in exchange for receiving services from video tape service providers.”
In July, Instagram’s parent company Meta Platforms, Inc. (“Meta”) agreed to a $68.5 million class-action biometric privacy settlement in connection with the company’s alleged violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14/1, et seq. (BIPA).
Class action lawsuits accusing companies of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) have more than doubled following a February 2023 ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court, which found, based on a plain reading of the statute, a separate claim accrues each time a person’s biometric identifier is scanned in violation of the statute.
Increasing oversight of tech companies, particularly in the realm of consumer privacy, has been a rare example of bipartisan agreement. Despite data privacy being a growing concern for consumers, however, there has been relatively little federal policymaking. To counteract this lack of action, some states have stepped in to fill this void—and have enacted policies that could have large impacts on how businesses operate. The rapid rate at which these laws are being enacted – eleven have been enacted– indicates states are taking an increasingly protective view of consumers’ data privacy. Businesses need to be prepared to comply with these new mandates, or risk costly enforcement measures.
On November 25, 2020, a shareholder of First American Financial Corporation (“First American”) filed suit against the company and its officers and directors over a massive data security breach that exposed hundreds of millions of sensitive customer records. The shareholder derivative action, filed by Norman Hollett in Delaware federal court, alleges breaches of fiduciary duties, unjust enrichment, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets, and multiple violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, all relating to the failure to contain and timely disclose the breach.
Proskauer’s Vice-Chair of the Litigation Department and Minding Your Business blog editor, Margaret Dale was recently featured on Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law, where she explores ways that clients can protect privilege after a data breach. The first, “Protecting Privilege Basics,” identifies steps that can be taken by…