The Evolution of Consumer Class Actions Under the California Invasion of Privacy Act


March 25, 2021

How does a wiretapping law enacted in 1967 end up as the source of a new wave of cutting-edge class action consumer privacy lawsuits? Our panelists, BRG’s David Kalat and Bill Farley and Ashley Shively of Holland & Knight, explained.

The panelists discussed the history behind the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA). With a $5,000 statutory damage penalty per violation, well-founded class actions under this statute quickly can identify potential damages in the tens of millions of dollars. Our panel reviewed “classic” cases of recording of telephone calls without consent historically brought under the statute. Next, they examined how advances in technology have led to new kinds of claims, including class actions brought against makers of smart speakers and websites using web-tracking software.

Key topics included:

  • Certification decisions: who are the winners and losers?
  • How does confidentiality of the communication apply?
  • Is challenging ascertainably a winning strategy, and if so, when?
  • What kind of experts will be needed, and what type of testimony will they present?

Listen to the event recording. Recording password is BRG2021.

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David Kalat