More Buzz on Google…only this time it’s not about Buzz. A potential class action lawsuit was filed this week against the company that claims the mantra ‘do no evil’. Thelawsuit alleges that Google violated privacy lawsby scanning Gmail accounts in order to sell and place advertisements on account holder’s user screens. Ummm. That doesn’t sound like something a good corporate citizen would do, at least to me.
Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Google violates The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 by scanning the content of all Gmail from any sender and uses the information to sell and place advertisements. (Kind of makes me think back to that old Rockwell song (above)—only Google wasn’t even around back then…) “As result of Google’s actions in intercepting non-Gmail account holders’ emails, Google obtains a monetary benefit without consent of the Class members and without compensation to them,” the lawsuit states.
I have to admit, I have often wondered how all those topic specific ads crop up on the side of my Gmail screen…
Isn’t ‘Wholesale’ Supposed to Mean ‘Discount’? ‘AstraZeneca hit the news rather quietly this week, with the announcement that they have reached two settlements—one nationwide, one in Massachusetts—related to two different classes of purchases of the drug Zoladex.
And yes, this situation could be your worst nightmare. The records contained AvMed members’ names, home addresses, phone numbers, Social Security Numbers, as well as other highly sensitive medical history data such as diagnosis information, medical procedure and prescription information.
A lawyer representing the plaintiffs says this is easily one of the largest medical record breaches in history, and the disastrous consequences may plague those affected for their lifetimes. Further, they believe that AvMed did not follow government-mandated HIPAA protocols. Merely taking the time to encrypt their laptops, likely would have obviated any harm done by this theft. Terrific.
The second potentially large class action is by a group offarmers alleging price fixingof magnesium oxide—a compound widely used in farming and in animal feed—by Premier Chemicals LLC, Sumitomo Corporation of America, and YAS, Inc.
More Foreclosure Fraud. It seems that between Chinese drywalland questionable foreclosures, Florida homeowners just can’t catch a break. A class action lawsuit was filed this weekon behalf of tens of thousands of homeowners in the Sunshine State, who have allegedly been suffered as a result of GMAC’s use of fraudulent affidavits and other documents in foreclosure proceedings.
It seems that GMAC employees admitted in sworn testimony to signing whatever was put in front of them in foreclosure cases, regardless of the accuracy of those documents, without personal knowledge of the truth of what they are signing, without reviewing the underlying documents to determine whether the documents are accurate, and often not even in the presence of a notary.
Geoffrey Huber, one of the plaintiffs, said he discovered a“robo-signed” affidavithad been filed in foreclosure proceedings on the house he owns in Florida. “I don’t know how they thought they legally could get away with this.” Maybe because very few people ever check the fine print? Seems like a good time to start.
The Complaint alleges that the defects in virtually every foreclosure case filed in the last several years are not mere “technicalities,” nor just “sloppy paperwork.” Indeed, one of the lead plaintiffs in this case alleges that he was not actually in default at the time GMAC initiated foreclosure proceedings.
What’s Blowing in During that Blow-out? Well, the makers and distributors of Brazilian Blowout could be in for a thorough waxing. A class action lawsuit was filed against the hair-straightening folks this week, alleging Brazilian Blowout violated California consumer lawsby falsely advertising that the Brazilian Blowout hair straightening product is formaldehyde-free.
According to testing by the Canadian government and Oregon OHSA, this is absolutely not the case. Their testing has shown Brazilian Blowout products contain between 6% and 12% formaldehyde. Yikes! California and federal regulations require disclosure when formaldehyde content exceeds 0.1%. And in Canada formaldehyde is permitted in cosmetics at less than 0.2 percent when used as a preservative. FYI—formaldehyde is a known irritant, sensitizer, and is linked to cancer in humans when inhaled chronically over a long period of time. No doubt this stuff could do a good deal more than straighten your hair. Just reading about it is enough to turn it grey!
The lawsuit claims that because consumers were unaware of the high formaldehyde content in BB, they were deprived of the opportunity to make a meaningful decision about the products they were purchasing and using on their bodies, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs said.