Cross-posted by Forbes.com at WLF Contributor Site
The fundamental legal principle that only those who have been “harmed” can sue in U.S. courts is being put to the test by the ever-evolving, subjective concept of “privacy” in the equally organic online world.
U.S. Supreme Court rulings on so-called Article III standing reflect that a harm must be 1) concrete, particularized, actual, and imminent; 2) fairly traceable to defendant’s actions; and 3) likely redressed by a favorable decision. If a party fails to meet this test, the court will dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers, eager to add online privacy “violations” to their lucrative book of business, have been advancing broad theories of injury through class action lawsuits. Their claims of harm routinely center around either emotional or economic injury. Those efforts so far, with a few exceptions, have met resistance from federal judges. Continue reading “Courts Grapple with Concept of “Harm” in Online Privacy Suits”