In a class action with potentially significant impact on data sharing disclosures that companies routinely provide in online privacy policies, the Third Circuit recently ruled that NaviStone, a third party marketing service, was not a “direct party” under the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act (WESCA) and thus was potentially subject to liquidated damages
The latest wrinkle in the ever-changing world of data privacy litigation is the recent surge in state wiretap claims. What began as a trickle over the summer of 2020 has grown into a clear wave as plaintiffs have filed dozens of lawsuits against prominent tech, eCommerce, entertainment, and retail companies under state wiretap laws. These lawsuits seek statutory damages for the alleged interception of consumers’ electronic communications through the defendant’s use of various website analytic tools. Insofar as the use of website analytics tools is ubiquitous on the internet, privacy litigators are carefully watching the progress of these state wiretap claims. If successful, state wiretap claims could become the next TCPA, threatening virtually every company with a sizable web presence in the U.S.
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