On August 25, 2017, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh signed an order granting preliminary approval of the record class action settlement agreed to by Anthem Inc. this past June. The settlement arose out of a 2015 data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 78 million individuals, including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and health care ID numbers. The terms of the settlement include, among other things, the creation of a pool of funds to provide credit monitoring and reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs for customers, as well as up to $38 million in attorneys’ fees. Anthem will also be required to make certain changes to its data security systems and cybersecurity practices for at least three years. Continue Reading Record Breach Settlement in Anthem Class Action Receives Judge Approval
On June 23, 2017, Anthem Inc., the nation’s second largest health insurer, reached a record $115 million settlement in a class action lawsuit arising out of a 2015 data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 78 million people. Among other things, the settlement creates a pool of funds to provide credit monitoring and reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs for customers, as well as up to $38 million in attorneys’ fees. Continue Reading Record Data Breach Settlement in Anthem Class Action
On June 13, 2017, Judge Andrea R. Wood of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice a putative consumer class action filed against Barnes & Noble. The case was first filed after Barnes & Noble’s September 2012 announcement that “skimmers” had tampered with PIN pad terminals in 63 of its stores and exposed payment card information. The court had previously dismissed the plaintiffs’ original complaint without prejudice for failure to establish Article III standing. After the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, the plaintiffs filed an almost identical amended complaint that alleged the same causes of action and virtually identical facts. Although the court found that the first amended complaint sufficiently alleged Article III standing, the plaintiffs nevertheless failed to plead a viable claim. The court therefore dismissed the first amended complaint under Rule 12(b)(6). Continue Reading Putative Data Breach Class Action Dismissed for the Third Time
On February 16, 2016, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released the California Data Breach Report 2012-2015 (the “Report”) which, among other things, provides (1) an overview of businesses’ responsibilities regarding protecting personal information and reporting data breaches and (2) a series of recommendations for businesses and state policy makers to follow to help safeguard personal information. Continue Reading California Attorney General Releases Report Defining “Reasonable” Data Security
On December 15, 2015, the California Attorney General announced an approximately $25 million settlement with Comcast Cable Communications, LLC (“Comcast”) stemming from allegations that Comcast disposed of electronic equipment (1) without properly deleting customer information from the equipment and (2) in landfills that are not authorized to accept electronic equipment. The settlement must be approved by a California judge before it is finalized.
On October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA”). The law requires police to obtain a warrant before accessing an individual’s private electronic information, such as text messages, emails, GPS data and online documents that are stored in the cloud and on smartphones, tablets, computers and other digital devices. The government also must obtain a warrant before requiring a business to produce an individual’s electronic information.
On October 2, 2015, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that her office settled a lawsuit against home design website, Houzz Inc. (“Houzz”). Houzz was charged with secretly recording incoming and outgoing telephone calls for training and quality assurance purposes without notifying its customers, employees or call recipients, in violation of California eavesdropping and wiretapping laws. As part of the settlement, the Attorney General required Houzz to destroy the recordings, pay a fine of $175,000 and hire a Chief Privacy Officer to supervise its compliance with privacy laws and conduct privacy risk evaluations to assess Houzz’s privacy practices. This is the first time that the Attorney General has required the hiring of a Chief Privacy Officer as part of a settlement.
On July 9, 2015, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced the launch of its first cybersecurity multistakeholder process, in which representatives from across the security and technology industries will meet in September to discuss vulnerability research disclosure.