Privacy Cases To Watch in 2016

December 24, 2015 – In The News
Law360

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Law360 article, “Privacy Cases To Watch in 2016.” Full text can be found in the December 24, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Following a year that saw major decisions that helped to boost plaintiffs’ prospects in data breach litigation and helped clarify the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority over data security matters, 2016 looks to be another big year in privacy law.

Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez

The Supreme Court is expected to make waves in privacy law with the release of its decision on whether defendants can strategically offer individual plaintiffs relief necessary to make them whole at the outset of litigation and avoid potentially long court battles or costly class action settlements down the road.

Campbell-Ewald Co. is accused of violating the TCPA by sending naval recruitment messages through a subcontractor to approximately 100,000 people. The company offered Jose Gomez more than three times the statutory $500 per violation for each unsolicited text he allegedly received.

“Given the unlimited liability that companies face under statutes such as the TCPA, it makes a big difference if businesses can pick off plaintiffs,” said Scott L. Vernick, a noted privacy attorney.

FTC v. LabMD

In 2016, the battle between LabMD and the FTC over the scope of the agency’s data security authority is expected to continue after the FTC in November asked its own commissioners to review a ruling by an administrative law judge that saw the agency’s data breach suit against LadMD thrown out.

“What drove the decision was that the administrative law judge found that the commission had failed to show that there had been actual harm to consumers,” Vernick said. “If that standard is upheld, that will likely influence and inform what kind of actions the FTC brings in the future.”

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