Category: Data Privacy

June 12, 2017

The “Third Party” Catch-22

As the Department of Justice has been doubling down on law enforcement overreach, the Supreme Court has just decided to hear a case that may limit the use of a common tool that law enforcement uses to infringe upon the privacy rights of innocent people. The case, Carpenter v. United States, arises out of a… Read More

January 17, 2017

Alexa: Play Confession

It sits in your house, passively recording everything you say.  It knows what you like.  It knows what you listen to.  It knows what you buy.  It knows who’s in the room with you.  And now, it might tell the police all about it. “It” is the Amazon Echo, a revolution in the “internet of… Read More

June 9, 2016

Keep It Short and Prosper

What a difference two words can make. Just ask the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) or Americans for Prosperity (AFP), two organizations that filed separate lawsuits against the same defendant, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, over the same issue: whether Harris’s office had the right to access the organizations’ donor information. (The cases are Center… Read More

May 19, 2016

Data Breach Lawsuits: Challenges Persist After Spokeo v. Robins

Data breaches are as common as the common cold—unfortunately, just as incurable. Run a news search on “data breaches” and you’ll find that all kinds of institutions—major retailers, tech companies, universities, even government agencies—have been vulnerable at some point. Now run a search on “data breaches,” but include the word “lawsuit.” You’ll find that many… Read More

February 26, 2016

Police Make iPhone Public Enemy No. 1

FBI Director James Comey took a rare break from the posturing typical of investigators and prosecutors in the current showdown between Apple and the FBI.  While prosecutors argue that Apple’s privacy concerns are a smokescreen to avoid “assist[ing] the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack,” Comey posted a statement over the weekend in… Read More

February 19, 2016

FBI Recruits Apple to Help Unlock Your iPhone

It is a well-known maxim that “bad facts make bad law.”  And as anybody even casually browsing social media this week likely has seen, the incredibly tragic facts surrounding the San Bernadino attacks last December have led to a ruling that jeopardizes the privacy rights of all law-abiding Americans. First, it is important to clearly… Read More

November 4, 2015

Is It Ever Okay to Share Passwords?

If you’ve ever let your kids sign into your Netflix or HBO Go account, or given your marketing department access to your Twitter feed, you may be committing a federal crime, depending on how the Ninth Circuit rules on a case argued before it just last month. The case, United States v. Nosal, is the… Read More

August 19, 2015

Government Dismisses Its Case After Warrantless Airport Laptop Search

    The government has voluntarily dismissed its case against Jae Shik Kim, the South Korean businessman for whom Ifrah Law obtained a motion to suppress in federal court.  In 2012, Mr. Kim was stopped by federal agents as he tried to board a plane to South Korea from LAX.  The government seized his laptop… Read More

May 18, 2015

Cell Tower Location Data Privacy Decision Reversed

Last July, we reported on United States v. Davis, an Eleventh Circuit decision in favor of privacy rights. In that case, a three-judge panel held that cell phone users have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their cell phone location data. If the government wants to collect the data, it must first obtain a probable-cause… Read More

May 11, 2015

Laptops, Border Checks and The Fourth Amendment

Photo: “LAX-International-checkin” by TimBray at en.wikipedia.   Developments in law are sluggish compared to the rapid rate of technological advancement, and courts must constantly apply old legal principles to technologies which were not contemplated at the time the laws were enacted.   Recently, technology has been at the forefront of privacy rights debates, in light of… Read More

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