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In an extension of the spate of litigation surrounding California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act and other laws like it, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., Civ. No. 11-10920-WGY (D. Mass. Jan. 6, 2012), followed the California Supreme Court’s lead (see our blog post here) in ruling that ZIP codes are “personal identification information” within the meaning of Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 93, §…
In May 2011, Michaels Stores reported that “skimmers” using modified PIN pad devices in eighty Michaels stores across twenty states had gained unauthorized access to customers’ debit and credit card information. Not a pretty picture for Michaels. Lawsuits soon splattered on the specialty arts and crafts retailer, alleging a gallery of claims under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (“ICFA”), and for negligence, negligence per se, and…
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced its settlement with the operator of www.skidekids.com concerning allegations that the operator violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”) by collecting personal information about children without obtaining parental consent. Skid-e-kids, a social networking site directed at children ages 7-14, allows children to do many of the things (e.g., share pictures and video) that adults do on Facebook and other popular social networking sites. In fact, according…
On September 26, Judge William Walls of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled that a putative class action lawsuit against home goods retailer Williams-Sonoma failed to state a claim under New Jersey law. In Feder v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., the plaintiff sought damages for purported violations of New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”) after a Williams-Sonoma employee allegedly required the plaintiff to provide her zip code…
On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, California became the third state this year to amend its existing security breach notification law when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 24 (“SB 24”). Interestingly, the bill also marks the third time (in three years) that a bill attempting to beef up the state’s breach notice law has landed on the Governor’s desk. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the previous two. SB 24’s specific changes, while far…
On August 25, 2011, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, in a case of first impression, ruled that the state crime lab’s retention of an individual’s DNA sample beyond the limitations promised to him by the police when they took the voluntary sample state a claim for invasion of privacy, and for violation of the state’s Fair Information Practices Act (“FIPA”). The court’s clear holding that DNA is private information in which citizens have a reasonable expectation…
On August 22, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 3025 into law. In doing so, he aligned Illinois with a small group of states responding to increased concern about privacy and information security by retooling their existing information security breach notification frameworks. HB3025, in particular, amends the state’s breach notification law to specify both the types of information that should be provided to notice recipients and the breach notice obligations of service providers that…
On July 5, 2011, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a settlement with health insurer WellPoint, Inc. The settlement resolves allegations that the company failed to promptly notify the Attorney General’s office of a data breach as is required by the Indiana Disclosure of Security Breach Act. As part of the settlement, WellPoint will pay a fine of $100,000 and provide certain identity-theft-prevention assistance to consumers affected by the breach. Interestingly, the settlement includes an…
On May 12, 2011, the Obama Administration released its legislative proposal concerning cybersecurity. The proposal comes almost two years after the President identified cyber threats and protecting our digital infrastructure as “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” in his Cyberspace Policy Review. The Administration’s legislative proposal includes a number of proposals to update existing federal cybersecurity laws and regulations in order to protect the Nation against…
On March 28, 2011, the Massachusetts Superior Court issued a Final Judgment by Consent between the Commonwealth and Briar Group, LLC that resolves allegations that Briar Group failed to take measures to protect consumer credit and debit card information. The Final Judgment stems from an April 2009 information security breach in which outside hackers used malware to gain access to Briar Group’s computer systems and extract payment card information about the company’s restaurant and bar…