Designer Skin LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., et al.
Cookies - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions - Updated October 24, 2002
154 F. Supp.2d 497, 00 Civ. 0641 (S.D.N.Y., March 28, 2001)
Court dismisses claims advanced by the plaintiff class under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Wiretap Act arising out of Doubleclick's use and placement of "cookies" on plaintiffs' computers. Doubleclick uses such "cookies" to gather information about the users' use of Doubleclick client web sites. Because Doubleclick's clients consented to such information gathering, the court held that Doubleclick's activities did not run afoul of either the Electronic Communications Privacy Act or the Wiretap Act. The court also dismissed the claims plaintiffs advanced under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act because any damages caused by Doubleclick's activities did not meet the threshold required by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Finally, the court, having dismissed all of plaintiffs' federal claims, declined to retain jurisdiction over plaintiffs' state law claims, and dismissed the action.
Civ. Act. No. 00-11672-JLT (D. Mass., August 13, 2002)
Court grants defendants' motion for summary judgment, and dismisses plaintiffs' claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA") and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA") arising out defendant Pharmatrak's monitoring of plaintiffs' activities on the web sites of various pharmaceutical companies. With the authorization of these pharmaceutical companies, who were also named as defendants in this litigation, defendant Pharmatrak placed software on their web sites which enabled Pharmatrak to gather information submitted by the plaintiffs to, and to track their activities at, these sites. Pharmatrak's software also enabled Pharmatrak to gather information both about the web site plaintiffs visited immediately prior to their visit to defendants' sites, as well as the search plaintiffs conducted to get to defendants' sites. According to plaintiffs, the information Pharmatrak gathered included personally identifiable information, although there was no evidence that Pharmatrak disseminated anything other than aggregated non-personally identifiable information to third parties.
The Court held that defendants did not violate Title I of the ECPA, the Wire Tap Act, because they qualified for the protection of Section 2511(2)(d) of the ECPA, which permits interception of a communication when it is authorized by one of the participants in the communication, provided the interception is not undertaken for a tortuous or criminal purpose. Defendants were permitted to intercept the communications at issue because (a) the pharmaceutical defendants which participated in them had authorized such interception, and (b) there was no evidence that such interception was done for an improper purpose.
The Court dismissed plaintiffs' claims under Title II of the ECPA, the Stored Communications Act, both because the devices defendants accessed, plaintiffs' PCs, were not protected "facilities" under the Stored Communications Act, and because the pharmaceutical defendants consented to accessing the communications at issue.
Lastly, the Court dismissed the claims plaintiffs raised under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, because plaintiffs did not sustain damages sufficient to meet the damage threshold requirements of that statute.