Internet privacy involves the breach of consumer privacy through electronic communications devices or servers. This includes unfair or deceptive business practices that are designed to profit companies at the expense of consumers.
Our Baltimore internet privacy violation lawyers are dedicated to providing consumers with the knowledge they need to protect their right to privacy. We work with clients who have had their digital privacy invaded and encourage all consumers to learn their rights and speak up when they are violated.
We have handled cases involving:
We are currently representing Facebook users in a class action lawsuit alleging that the company violated the privacy rights of users and committed wiretap violations by tracking members’ internet browsing activities even after they had logged off of Facebook.
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy has also sued Google for secretly circumventing the privacy settings on Apple’s Safari web browser and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser (IE) to install third-party cookies that track user browsing activities without permission.
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In September 2011, Australian blogger and Internet security professional Nic Cubrilovic posted a blog reporting that Facebook cookies continued to track user browsing activities after logout. He disclosed that, though Facebook claimed to delete all cookies after users had logged off, some cookies, including those with user account information, remained active. This meant that even if a user was logged out, Facebook still knew and could track any webpage with Facebook content that the user visited.
Why is Facebook worth so much if the use of Facebook is “free?” Although Facebook members are not required to pay a monetary subscription fee, membership is not free. Instead, membership requires users to provide sensitive personal information upon registration, including name, birth date, gender, and email address. More importantly, use of Facebook is conditioned upon accepting numerous Facebook cookies that track browsing activities. Facebook then harvests this information, using it to generate approximately $4 billion in revenue annually.
The amended consolidated class action complaint, filed jointly by Murphy, Falcon & Murphy and 14 other law firms, alleges that Facebook broke numerous federal and state privacy laws, including the federal Wiretap Act.
Unlike other popular internet browsers, including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Safari and IE’s default privacy settings are generally designed to block third-party cookies, including tracking cookies used by Google and Facebook.
Google, however, had figured out a way to circumvent the cookie-blocking features of the Safari and IE web browsers. Safari allows third-party cookies to be installed only when a user has interacted with (clicked on or submitted information to) an advertisement. Google claims that the data collected using these cookies was obtained inadvertently, and that the intended goal was simply to promote its social network, Google+.
The introduction of a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system provided a systematic way for voters to cast their ballots, but anonymity may still be at risk.
In 2002, to synchronize and clarify the administrative process of American voting, the federal government created the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). HAVA set forth to provide states and election officials with a standardized system that would decrease the large number of votes that remained uncounted each election due to processing errors.
Many DRE machines still provide election officials with a “paper trail,” or a printed record of votes. If this information were to be matched with the record of voters, which is ordered upon arrival at the voting station and includes identifying information like social security numbers, one could very easily produce a record of which voter voted for which candidate.
While DRE machines do have their benefits, our federal and state governments need to pursue far greater auditing and standardization efforts in order to ensure voters that their private information, from their identity to their vote, remains anonymous.
Just because an app has been approved for sale by Apple doesn’t mean it’s safe. Many apps may be accessing your photos, videos, and address book without your permission. Recent allegations against many tech industry giants, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and others, suggest that many apps available for public use do not meet the privacy standards set forth by the companies that sell them.
Apps are big business. In March 2012, Apple announced that they had seen their 25 billionth app download from their popular app store. Government officials are calling on Apple, Android, and outside organizations, including the FTC, to develop more rigorous standards for privacy to protect users from unknowingly giving app developers access to their photos, address book, and other sensitive information.
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy is not afraid to take on major players in the electronic technology and internet world — from Google to Apple, our Baltimore trial attorneys have the experience, tenacity, and legal prowess to fight for justice on your behalf. If you believe your right to privacy has been violated, turn to our litigation team for counsel.
Contact Murphy, Falcon & Murphy today for a free evaluation of your case.