Violations of California’s Invasion of Privacy Act Satisfy Spokeo

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Judge Jeffrey T. Miller of the Southern DIstrict of California became the latest to hold that violations of CIPA give rise to concrete harms under the SCOTUS’s Spokeo decision.  The case is Romero v. Securus Techs., Inc., No. 16-cv-1283, 2016 WL 6157953, at *4 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 24, 2016).

CIPA prohibits unauthorized interceptions of communications in order to protect the right of privacy.  Plaintiffs in Romero allege that when they were inmates in California correctional facilities they used the defendant’s telephone system, and that the defendant recorded a number of calls between plaintiffs and their attorneys.

Defendants sought dismissal under Spokeo, arguing plaintiffs had only alleged procedural violations of CIPA, not enough to constitute concrete harm.  Judge Miller disagreed, relying heavily on a recent decision from Judge Koh in California’s Northern District:

A violation of CIPA involves much greater concrete and particularized harm than a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FRCA”), the statute at issue in Spokeo. While “[a] violation of one of the FCRA’s procedural requirements may result in no harm,” such as reporting of “an incorrect zip code,” Spokeo, 136 S. Ct. at 1549, a violation of CIPA is a violation of privacy rights.

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