Judge tosses online privacy case

Thursday, 17 June 2004, 11:11 AM EST

In a decision dated June 6, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson ruled that seven consolidated class action lawsuits against Northwest had no merit--in part because the privacy policy posted on the airline's Web site was unenforceable unless plaintiffs claimed to have read it. The plaintiffs had contended that the airline, in giving passenger information to the government in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, violated laws and its own privacy policy.

"Although Northwest had a privacy policy for information included on the Web site, plaintiffs do not contend that they actually read the privacy policy prior to providing Northwest with their personal information," Magnuson noted. "Thus, plaintiffs' expectation of privacy was low."

Privacy advocates assailed that part of the decision, saying it rendered Web site privacy policies all but unenforceable.

By Paul Festa at CNET.

[ Read more ]




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