& Jung LLP, attorneys in a proposed privacy class action against
Facebook, praised a federal appeals court ruling, stating that it
"affirms consumer rights to choose how personal information is used by
companies like Facebook." In a decision that promises to make internet
companies accountable to their users, the United States Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that Facebook users may proceed
with breach of contract and fraud claims arising from Facebook's alleged
disclosure of user information to advertisers. In re Facebook Privacy
Litigation, No. 12-15619 (9th Cir. May 8, 2014).
Reversing dismissal of a class action complaint challenging Facebook's
privacy practices, the Ninth Circuit found that Plaintiff Mike
Robertson-a Facebook user who claims that Facebook breached its privacy
policy by disclosing his and millions of other Facebook users'
identities to advertisers-may proceed on his claims for breach of
contract and fraud.
Although many cases have been filed alleging breach of internet privacy
policies nationwide, relatively few have made it beyond the pleadings,
with lower courts dismissing caims on the grounds that "mere disclosure
of personal information" does not constitute harm to users as a matter
of law. The Ninth Circuit rejected such arguments, finding that
allegations that users were harmed by the dissemination of their
personal information were "sufficient to show the element of damages for
their breach of contract and fraud claims."
"This is a very important decision for Facebook users and consumers
generally who rely on internet provider privacy policies," said attorney Kassra
Nassiri of Nassiri
& Jung LLP, who along with Nassiri & Jung principal John
Manier, represented Plaintiff/Appellant Mike Robertson in the
appeal. "Prior to today's ruling," Nassiri says, "internet companies
could promise users the sky when it came to safeguarding user personal
information, because they could safely count on courts to throw out user
claims for breach of privacy policies. After today's ruling, internet
companies will think twice before making privacy promises they can't or
don't intend to keep."
ABOUT NASSIRI & JUNG: Nassiri & Jung is a Los Angeles and San
Francisco litigation law firm focusing on complex litigation,
employment, corporate governance litigation, and appeals. The firm's
class action practice focuses predominantly on defense, but takes on
meritorious plaintiff's matters that advance the public interest. For
more information, visit www.njfirm.com,
or contact Kassra
Nassiri at (415) 762-3100.
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