In 1993, and on the heels of the landmark Article III standing case of Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, John G. Roberts, Jr. wrote a law review article entitled: “Article III Limits on Statutory Standing.” Twenty-eight years later and now the Chief Justice, Roberts again found himself wrestling over the bounds of the Article III Standing requirement as he presided over this issue in the class action context. Years after the Court decided Spokeo v. Robins in 2016 and Clapper v. Amnesty International in 2013, the Court revisited the matter and listened to oral arguments on March 30, 2021, in TransUnion v. Ramirez. The decision may have enormous consequences. While Acting U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar filed a “friend of the court” brief agreeing that standing exists, other briefs supporting TransUnion suggest that meritless class action lawsuits against corporate defendants from class members that aren’t injured will exponentially increase.
TikTok continues to rise in popularity, though their history of complaints and lawsuits paints a different picture. On February 27, 2019 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled with TikTok for $5.7 million in response to a child privacy complaint. This settlement was the largest civil penalty obtained for a child privacy complaint, prompting TikTok to take corrective action by hiring compliance focused employees. Consumer groups now argue that TikTok has failed to make such changes and continues to “flout the law”. In response to national security concerns, President Trump signed an executive order on August 6, 2020 effectively banning the application in the U.S.
In July of 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Director, Richard Cordray, implemented a rule regulating the ability of banks to prohibit class-action lawsuits from being placed within the fine print of their consumer contracts. By the end of July, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn any recently issued regulation by an executive agency. The Senate subsequently voted to repeal the rule after a 50-51 vote, where Mike Pence cast his vote to break the 50-50 tie. On November 1st, 2017, President Trump signed the bill repealing the regulation.
Global music technology giant and headphone maker, Bose Corporation, has been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging that Bose collected the listening preferences of the users of its wireless headphones and its companion application without their knowledge and sold that information to third parties. Counsel representing the class filed the complaint in federal court in Chicago, Illinois alleging violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) and the Illinois-specific Eavesdropping Statute.