IN THE COURTS: Cal Spam Law, New Mass Internet Law & Flash Cookies

9th Cir. – Cal Spam Statute Has Heightened Pleading Requirement and 1 Yr SOL
In a four page decision, the 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the  complaint in Hypertouch v. Azoogle et al. finding that allegations of fraudulent conduct under California’s spam law must be plead with particularity and that it was subject to a one-year statute of limitations.  More info: Hypertouch ruling

Mass. Harmful to Minors Law Challenged
For many years Massachusetts has had a law prohibiting providing something harmful to minors (e.g., obscene), but a new state law has applied the provision to items distributed by “electronic mail, instant messages, text messages, and any other communication created by means of use of the Internet or wireless network.”   The law is being challenged on constitutional grounds — similar statutes in seven other states have been found unconstitutional.  More infoNew Massachusetts law extends censorship to IM, e-mail, Web, Ars Technica.

Lawsuit Attacks Use of Flash Cookies
A lawsuit filed by privacy activist, Joseph Malley, who recently obtained a $9.5 million settlement with Facebook over its Beacon program,  alleges that the use of Flash Cookies by Quantcast, MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC and Scribd violates the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act; the Video Privacy Protection Act and various California computer fraud, privacy and unfair competition statutes.  More info:  Privacy lawsuit targets ‘Net giants over “zombie” cookies; Ars Technica.


  • Rite-Aid – $1MM fine and required to establish a comprehensive data security program that is subject to audit every two years for failing to protect consumer and employee data.
  • Mortgage Relief Marketers – three companies were ordered to pay a combined $23 million in fines and were banned from selling such products in the future.
  • Free Credit Report Marketers – warnings were issued to 18 websites operated by National Credit Report.Com,;Quinstreet; MyCreditCenter; Vertrue; Consumer Track, Inc.’ Consumer Direct, Inc.; Mighty Net, Inc. and two individuals re: the FTCs Updated Free Credit Report guidelines.