Facebook Wiretap Ruling Inspires Slew of Lawsuits Over Consumer Tracking

A Ninth Circuit decision in a Facebook consumer tracking case is propelling a new surge of privacy lawsuits using old anti-wiretap laws, including 15 class actions filed in California this fall targeting websites’ use of cookies, pixels and other tracking methods. Game makers, publishers, hospitals and even major retailers like Nike and General Motors have been sued, along with the software providers that supply analytics tools to their sites. We discuss with lawyers from Holland & Knight and ZwillGen how the litigation strategies are unfolding, the conflicting mix of court findings on key legal questions, the difficulty of applying vintage criminal laws to current web tracking, and the role that wiretap allegations play in the overall landscape of consumer privacy litigation. See our two-part series on CCPA litigation: “How to Stem the Coming Tide” (Jan. 22, 2020); “How to Avoid Claims Under Other Statutes” (Feb. 5, 2020).


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