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INSIDE THE FIRM

Privacy and Technology

We have gained a “national reputation as a maverick in [our] commitment to pursuing big-ticket cybersecurity and privacy cases on behalf of consumers.” (Law360, January 2019). As a result, we were the only plaintiffs’ firm to be named a “Cybersecurity & Privacy Group Of The Year” (Law360, January 2019). We are known “for securing multi-million dollar settlements against tech giants” (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 2013), and as “pioneers in the electronic privacy class action field, having litigated some of the largest consumer class actions in the country on this issue.” See In re Facebook Privacy Litig., No. 10-cv-02389 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2010); see also In re Netflix Privacy Litig., No. 11-cv-00379 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 12,2011). Our suits against the internet giants “read like a time capsule of the last decade, charting how computers have been steadfastly logging data about our searches, our friends, our bodies.” (The New York Times, April 2015). Through our privacy cases, we have “fostered a reputation for [our] uncanny ability to come up with creative standing and damages arguments” leading to “momentum-shifting rulings in challenges to the data security and information gathering practices of companies…” (Law360, October 2014).

Representative Cases

 

Over $300 million in privacy settlements and judgments.

Won U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing people to sue over intangible privacy harms. Commentators have called the case the most significant consumer privacy case in recent years. See Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016).

Appointed one of the lead counsel in suit claiming that Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act in collecting face templates. The Court certified an over 6 million person class in this multi-billion dollar suit. In re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litig., 326 F.R.D. 535 (N.D. Cal. 2018).

Appointed to represent the People of the State of Illinois in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. People of Illinois, ex rel. Kimberly M. Foxx, State’s Attorney of Cook County, Ill. v. Facebook, Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-02667 (N.D. Ill.).

Appointed to represent both the City of Chicago and the People of the State of Illinois (through the Cook County State’s Attorney) in a lawsuit against tech giant Uber Technologies, stemming from the 2014 and 2016 data breaches at the company and an alleged cover-up that followed. This was the first ever coordinated filing by the two regulators. City of Chicago and People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Kimberly M. Foxx, State’s Attorney of Cook County, Ill. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 17-CH-15594 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).

Lead counsel in IoT class action alleging that Bose designed its app to collect and record the titles of the music and audio files that consumers chose to play through their wireless headphones. Suit further claims that this data was then transmitted along with other personal identifiers to a third party data miner. Zak v. Bose Corp., No.1:17-cv-02928 (N.D. Ill.).

Secured the largest cash privacy settlement in history: a $76 million settlement under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which will result in as much as several thousand dollars in payments to class members. Birchmeier, et al. v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-4069 (N.D. Ill.).

Only firm to have secured (in multiple cases) the settlement of data breach claims where class members received monetary relief without having to show any direct loss flowing from the breach. See, e.g., Resnick v. Avmed, No. 10-cv-24513 (S.D. Fla.) (prior to settlement, obtaining landmark appellate decision endorsing common law unjust enrichment theory, irrespective of whether identity theft occurred, and securing first class action settlement in the country to provide data breach victims with monetary payments irrespective of identity theft).

Secured settlements in class actions against data aggregators for collection practices, as well as media companies and others for disclosing customers’ personal information without authorization. See, e.g., Dunstan v. comScore, Inc., No. 11-cv-5807 (N.D. Ill.) (obtaining class certification in action accusing Internet analytics company of improper data collection practices, and securing $14 million classwide settlement); Kinder v. Meredith, No. 14-cv-11284 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 5, 2015) ($7.5 million classwide settlement); Coulter-Owens v. Rodale, No. 14-cv-12688 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 23, 2015) ($4.5 million classwide settlement).

Won first ever federal decision recognizing that text spam was prohibited under the TCPA. Reached settlements collectively totaling over $130 million against Simon & Schuster, 20th Century Fox, Timberland, Jiffy Lube, Steve Madden, Google, etc.

Brought first cases under the Michigan Preservations of Personal Privacy Act against magazine publishers for allegedly collecting and selling customer information without consent. After successfully beating numerous substantive motions and winning class certification, settled cases collectively worth over $30m against Time ($7.4m settlement), American Media ($7.6m), Meredith ($7.5m), Martha Stewart and TV Guide.

Only firm to have achieved settlements resulting in companies changing their data security practices after we identified exploitable vulnerabilities in their systems, but before any data breach actually occurred.

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