Apr 302014
 April 30, 2014  Posted by  Business, Court, Laws, U.S.

Given the recent kerfuffle about Experian not doing its due diligence about a Court Ventures client (covered on DataBreaches.net), I thought this report on a class action settlement was interesting:

On Tuesday, a California federal judge preliminarily approved an $8 million class action settlement that would resolve claims that Experian Information Solutions Inc. illegally disclosed consumers’ credit reports to a debt collection agency.

The class action lawsuit was initially filed by plaintiff Roane Holman in 2011. It was later amended to include plaintiffs Narciso Navarro and Miguel A. Alvarez. The plaintiffs alleged that Experian provided their consumer reports to collection agency Finex Group LLC, which was attempting to collect on debts it incurred for towed vehicles. The agency entered into a subscriber agreement with Experian that lasted from January 2008 until November 2010.

The class action lawsuit alleged that Experian violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it failed to confirm that Finex was using the credit reports for a permissible purpose, despite the fact that Experian had reason to believe Finex was not doing so. If a jury were to find that Experian willfully violated the FCRA, it could award each Class Member statutory damages of $100 to $1,000.

According to court documents, Finex received more than 40,000 consumer credit reports from Experian that contained a “recovery score,” which ranks accounts based on the likelihood that the debtors will pay the debt they owe.

Read more on Top Class Actions. The case is Holman v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., et al., Case No. 4:11-cv-00180, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Apr 302014
 April 30, 2014  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

Zack Needles reports:

Holding that telephones are expressly exempt from the devices prohibited by the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act regardless of how they’re used, the state Supreme Court has ruled that a state trooper did not violate the act when he instructed an informant to set up a drug deal with the defendant on speakerphone and then eavesdropped on the conversation.

In Commonwealth v. Spence, the court unanimously reversed a state Superior Court decision that had affirmed a Delaware County trial judge’s ruling suppressing evidence obtained when the trooper listened in on the phone call.

Read more on The Legal Intelligencer.

Apr 302014
 April 30, 2014  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

Richard Byrne Reilly reports:

The National Security Agency is coming to a university near you.

The agency has launched an initiative to strengthen contacts between tech-heavy U.S. American colleges and universities. The project will coordinate academic collaboration to best protect Internet infrastructure. Already, the NSA has awarded funds and resources to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Maryland, and the University of North Carolina to set up so-called “lablets” on their campuses.

In a release, the press-shy NSA said the “lablets” program (read: small labs), which launched three years ago, has already given nearly three hundred universities an opportunity to accept research money and expertise to develop collaborative relationships in the name of “Science of Security,” or SoS.

Read more on VentureBeat.

Apr 302014
 April 30, 2014  Posted by  Business, Court

Nick McCann reports:

 Hulu may have illegally disclosed viewer data via Facebook “likes,” a federal magistrate judge ruled in an ongoing class action.

Joseph Garvey is lead plaintiff in “Hulu Privacy Litigation” which claims Hulu “repurposed” its browser cache to let marketing-analysis services store users’ private data.

Read more on Courthouse News. See also MediaPost‘s coverage of the ruling.

Thanks to Joe Cadillic for the link.