A settlement has been reached in a $100 million dollar class action lawsuit against Google impacting an estimated 1.4 million Illinois resident users. The order comes as a result of Rivera, et al. v. Google LLC , where users photographs appeared in the storage application service, known as Google Photos, without having acquired proper consent nor provided notice to its users. Google is only one of many technology giants joining trending litigation in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). While this settlement is one of the largest in Illinois to date, one can expect there to be more class-action lawsuits on the way.
Complex litigation in data breach disputes is not surprising due to the reliance on information technology infrastructure. The Identity Theft Resource Center defines a data breach as “an incident in which an individual name plus a Social Security number, driver’s license number, medical record or financial record is potentially put at risk because of exposure.” However, the issue that challenges most plaintiffs’ in a data breach lawsuit is the ability to establish an injury-in-fact sufficient to support Article III standing. Injury-in-fact is harm that is concrete and particularized, and actual or imminent. Currently, the United States Court of Appeals fails to uniformly decide this issue, creating “splits” in the Circuits regarding Article III standing in data breach litigation. The Supreme Court ruled in fact-distinguishable cases concerning standing, but not in the data breach litigation context. Until the Supreme Court renders guidance, Americans face significant judicial patchwork in privacy protection.
Preparing for the 2020-21 school year has been exceptionally challenging for students, teachers, and administrators than in years past. This year, not only will schools be battling the challenges presented in the return to in-person learning, there is also a growing concern that school districts and educational service agencies will face unparalleled rates of litigation for their inability to meet requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) during the months of remote learning. The IDEA guarantees eligible students with disabilities a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE). This Act also provides the right for parents to file a complaint through a due process hearing for when they believe their child is not being provided with a FAPE.