Forced Arbitration Thwarts Legal Challenge To AT&T’s Disclosure Of Customer Location Data

Location information generated from our cell telephones paint an extremely detailed picture of our actions and personal lives. Regardless of the delicate nature of this information and a federal legislation prohibiting cellphone carriers from disclosing it, repeated unauthorized disclosures over the past a number of years present that carriers will promote this delicate info to nearly any willing buyer.

With cellphone carriers openly violating their clients’ privateness and the Federal Communication Fee moving slowly to investigate, it fell to customers to guard themselves. That’s why in June 2019 EFF filed a lawsuit representing clients difficult AT&T’s illegal disclosure of their location information. Our co-counsel are attorneys at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. The case, Scott v. AT&T, alleged that AT&T had violated a federal privateness legislation defending cellphone clients’ location information, amongst different protections.
How AT&T Compelled Arbitration
That authorized problem, nevertheless, shortly bumped into an all-too-familiar roadblock: the arbitration agreements AT&T forces on its clients to signal each time they purchase a cellphone or new service from the corporate. AT&T claimed that this clause prevented the Scott case from continuing.

The court docket ended up dismissing the plaintiffs’ lawsuit earlier this yr. The best way it did so demonstrates why Congress wants to vary federal legislation in order that the general public can meaningfully defend themselves from corporations’ abusive practices.

In response to the lawsuit, AT&T first moved to compel the plaintiffs to arbitration,

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