On January 13, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued a letter to the Transportation Security Administration and lawmakers regarding the TSA’s recent decision to make airport body scans a mandatory procedure.
The coalition, which includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and anti-biometrics group the Constitutional Alliance, said they were writing to Congress “regarding the TSA’s recent claim that it can mandate whole body scanning for airline passengers.”
Manitoba’s Intimate Image Protection Act came into force on 15 January 2016. The statute does something that I think is especially noteworthy – it creates a new privacy tort concerning the “non-consensual distribution of intimate images”. In short, Manitoba becomes the first Canadian province to provide victims of revenge porn with a common law remedy and the ability to sue the perpetrators for damages.
A federal court has held that a plaintiff has successfully pled a claim of “appropriation” (essentially, right of publicity claim) against former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, for Shaq’s use of plaintiff’s photo on Twitter and Instagram. The case is useful inasmuch as it shows how courts will consider social media as providing a benefit to its user.
Shaq acquired a photo of plaintiff, who suffers from a condition that affects his hair, skin and teeth, then placed a photo of himself making a contorted face next to the photo, apparently to imitate the way plaintiff appeared. Given that Shaq has millions of followers, this garnered many, many likes and comments. (I of course won’t republish the image here, but if you really want to see it, just do a Google Image search using the parties’ last names.)
Plaintiff sued under several theories, including intentional infliction of emotional distress, appropriation, and unjust enrichment.