Happy CIPA and Super Bowl Sunday TCPA World!
So, Samsung is under the spotlight with a new CIPA case brought by a self-proclaimed “tester.” You know like Rosa Parks?? Back to that in a bit.
The California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”) prohibits both wiretapping and eavesdropping of electronic communications without the consent of all parties to the communication. The Plaintiff’s bar is zoning in to CIPA with the Javier ruling.
If you recall, Javier found that “[T]hough written in terms of wiretapping, Section 631(a) applies to Internet communications. It makes liable anyone who ‘reads, or attempts to read, or to learn the contents’ of a communication ‘without the consent of all parties to the communication.’ Javier v. Assurance IQ, LLC, 2022 WL 1744107, at *1 (9th Cir. 2022).
Here, Plaintiff Garcia claims that Defendant both wiretaps the conversations of all website visitors and allows a third party to eavesdrop on the conversations in real time during transmission. Garcia v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
To enable the wiretapping, Plaintiff claims that Defendant has covertly embedded software code that functions as a device and contrivance into its website that automatically intercepts, records and creates transcripts of all conversations using the website chat feature.
To enable the eavesdropping, Defendant allows at least one independent third-party vendor to secretly intercept (during transmission and in real time), eavesdrop upon, and store transcripts of Defendant’s chat communications with unsuspecting website visitors – even when such conversations are private and deeply personal.
But Plaintiff currently proceeds in an individual action but if Samsung does not take appropriate steps to fully remedy the harm caused by its wrongful conduct, then Garcia will file an amended Complaint on behalf of a class of similarly aggrieved consumers.
Now back to Civil Rights.
According to this Complaint, Garcia is like Rosa Parks, you know, the civil rights activist. Why?
Well, because “Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was acting as a “tester” when she initiated the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, as she voluntarily subjected herself to an illegal practice to obtain standing to challenge the practice in Court.”
Because Wiretapping and civil rights are similar right??
The Plaintiff’s bar has no problem muddying the waters to appeal to the courts.
CIPA is some dangerous stuff. Websites use chat features to engage with consumers all the time. It seems like it is easier to communicate via chat or text than to sit on a call waiting for an agent – assuming you get an agent. But maybe not?
Stay safe out there TCPA World!
Til next time Countess!! back to the game, GO EAGLES!!! #Phillyproud