Yesterday, the Governor of Florida threw his support behind a newly introduced consumer data privacy bill (HB 969) which is very similar to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. The Governor’s support is a significant development given that he and both chambers of the Florida Legislature are Republican and, to date, there has not been any aligned support for a privacy law since the Florida Information Protection Act (FIPA), Florida’s data breach notification law.  Nevertheless, as with the CCPA, the bill proposes a boondoggle for the plaintiffs’ bar in the form of a private right of action for data breaches and statutory damages, which could present a significant obstacle to passage in the bill’s current form, particularly for a fairly business-friendly Florida Legislature.

Continue Reading Florida Throws Its Hat Into the Privacy Ring, And It’s Looking A Lot Like California

Yesterday, in a 26-page opinion, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has weighed in on two important questions in the world of privacy and data breach litigation.  First, does a plaintiff have standing where he was exposed to a substantial risk of future identity theft, even though there was no misuse of his information. The court’s answer is no. Second, what efforts to mitigate this risk does a plaintiff need to undertake to meet the standing requirement.  Here, the court held that the plaintiff essentially manufactured his own injuries (wasted time, lost use of his preferred card, and lost credit card benefits) by voluntarily canceling his credit card, which is not enough to confer standing.

Continue Reading The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Weighs in on Data Breach Standing Issues

The Florida Senate and House of Representatives are considering two bills (SB 1670 and HB 963) that, if adopted, will amend Florida law to create the state’s first comprehensive privacy law (though they do not go nearly as far as the CCPA). The proposed amendments would: (1) prohibit the use of personal data in public records maintained by state agencies for unsolicited marketing purposes, and (2) require companies doing business online to provide notice of their personal data collection/use activities and allow consumers to opt out of the sale of that data to third parties.  This article takes a deeper look at the proposed amendments, provides some context for them, and discusses the likelihood that they will become law. (Spoiler alert: the proposed amendments are significant and well-intended, but currently contain some flaws that, if addressed, create a good chance of the amendments becoming law).

Continue Reading Florida’s Proposed Privacy Legislation: An In-Depth Analysis for Corporate Counsel

An identical version of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has been introduced in the Florida Senate.  The bill includes the same private right of action.  The Illinois BIPA has become an enormous revenue earner for the plaintiff’s bar, who have filed gotcha lawsuits against companies seeking millions of dollars on the ground that the companies did not comply with all of the technical requirements of the law.  I suspect that is a similar driving force behind the Florida version.

Continue Reading Could Florida be the Next BIPA State?

The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision last week in Rosenbach v. Six Flags may have closed the first of what will be several chapters in class action litigation arising from the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).  The court addressed the very narrow issue of what it means for a person to be “aggrieved” under BIPA.  Ultimately, the court held that a violation of the notice, consent, disclosure, or other requirements of BIPA alone, without proof of actual harm, is sufficient for a person to be considered “aggrieved” by a violation of the law.

Continue Reading Rosenbach is the Beginning, Not the End, of BIPA Litigation

On Friday afternoon an Illinois intermediate appellate court decided that the bar for a plaintiff bringing a class action lawsuit under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is low, creating a conflict with its sister intermediate appellate court. The Illinois Supreme Court is expected to resolve the conflict early next year. How the court resolves the conflict will significantly impact companies doing business in Illinois.

Continue Reading New Biometric Privacy Decision Creates More Risk for Companies Doing Business in Illinois

Does your company collect biometric information?  Are you not entirely sure what “biometric information” means?  Would you like to understand the differences between the different state biometric privacy laws?  Do you want to know why more than 50 companies were hit with class action lawsuits within a period of three months as a result of

While the privacy world is focused on the Equifax data breach, another development is taking place that could have a more lasting effect on privacy law.  In the last month, plaintiffs’ lawyers in Illinois have filed over 20 lawsuits against companies that authenticate their employees or customers with their fingerprints.  The lawsuits are based on