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Nathanial Wood is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Litigation Group in the firm's Los Angeles office. His practice focuses on the litigation of complex commercial matters, including privacy and cybersecurity and class actions. Nathanial has substantial experience representing clients at all phases of the litigation process, from pre-litigation counseling through trial and appeals.

On August 8, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued yet another decision adopting relaxed standing requirements in privacy litigation, this time in a decision permitting a plaintiff to pursue claims under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). In Patel v. Facebook, the Ninth Circuit rejected arguments from Facebook Inc. (Facebook) that claims under the BIPA require assertions of real-world harm, and that BIPA claims only apply to conduct within Illinois. The ruling creates a circuit split on the standard for establishing Article III standing in BIPA litigation, which could prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.

BackgroundContinue Reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Facebook’s Article III Argument; Biometric Lawsuit Will Proceed

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (the “7th Circuit”) recently issued an opinion in Heather Dieffenbach, et al. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc. that is potentially concerning for current and potential defendants in class action claims related to data breaches.  The case relates to a 2012 incident where Barnes & Noble discovered

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived a class action lawsuit related to a 2012 data breach, determining that the future risk of identity theft suffices to establish Article III standing, even where there has been no actual harm. At issue in the case, In re, was whether

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the Third and Eleventh Circuits in ruling that any disclosure of an individual’s online viewing history along with their personally identifiable information confers standing to bring a suit for violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) in federal court.  The case, Eichenberger v. ESPN, Inc.,

In a departure from the recent position staked out by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit ruled yesterday in In Re: Application Of The United States Of America For Historical Cell Site Data, Case No. 11-20884, that a warrant is not required for the government to obtain cell site information, which effectively allows the government to identify a person’s location when they make a call with their mobile phone.

In that case, the government filed applications under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) (18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2712) for an order compelling disclosure of 60 days’ worth of historical cell site data for three cell phones. The SCA permits the government to obtain a court order compelling disclosure of information from cell phone service providers if it can show “specific and articulable facts” that the information is “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d). Courts have previously held that “specific and articulable facts” is a lower standard than probable cause. In re Application of U.S. for an Order Directing a Provider of Elec. Commc’n Serv. to Disclose Records to the Gov’t, 620 F.3d 304, 315 (3d Cir. 2010).
Continue Reading Divided Fifth Circuit Rules That Government May Obtain Cell Phone Location Information Without A Warrant