May 13, 2013
Associate Christopher M. Loeffler was quoted in the Law360 article, "Calif. AG Won't Back Down After Delta Privacy Suit Setback." Recently, a California judge tossed the state attorney general's first attempt to enforce a statute requiring websites to post privacy policies clearly. The judge held that the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 barred the state from applying its Online Privacy Protection Act to the air carrier's "Fly Delta" app, which provides check-in capabilities and other "services," as defined by the federal statute.
Because the ruling addresses only preemption issues and not the merits of the attorney general's claims under the statute, it won't prevent the regulator from rehashing the allegations soon in another action that steers clear of preemption considerations.
"Although the AG's office would rather start its enforcement efforts with a litigated decision or settlement that supports its application of the law to mobile apps, dismissal of the action against Delta doesn't give much comfort to companies that can't make similar federal preemption arguments," said Mr. Loeffler.