Top Privacy Cases of 2015: Midyear Report

June 30, 2015 – In The News

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Law360 article, “Top Privacy Cases of 2015: Midyear Report.” Full text can be found in the June 30, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Law360 recently examined some of the most important privacy decisions and settlements so far this year.

Among those cases was City of Los Angeles v. Patel, where last week the high court struck down a Los Angeles law that enabled law enforcement officers to inspect guest registries at hotels and motels at any time without a warrant or subpoena.

According to Scott Vernick, a noted privacy attorney, the high court’s decision may indicate how courts will react to surveillance issues in a national security context.

“[The decision] does send a signal that a court that is sometimes considered conservative by many is not just rubber-stamping these warrantless requests,” he said.

In another important privacy ruling, RadioShack Corp. received interim approval in June for an agreement that will protect customers of Verizon and AT&T in a $26 million sale of data and intellectual property as part of its bankruptcy.

Under another deal made in May, the amount of information available to the buyer was narrowed down and will not include credit or debit card information, Social Security numbers, telephone numbers or dates of birth.

According to Vernick, while the transfer of consumer data in a bankruptcy or merger is not a new issue, the deal highlighted the need for companies to be transparent in privacy policies, including letting customers know that data may be sold in the event of a bankruptcy or merger.

“That’s where [companies] have gotten tripped up, if they’re inconsistent, or they buried the clause saying they’ll [sell data if the company is sold],” Vernick said. “Everybody is very mindful of the need to be as transparent as possible."

Click here to view the full article.