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Little Rock Law Firm Carney Bates Going Into the Breach Against Google

2 min read

Whispers recently shared the news that Blue Hog Report blogger Matt Campell’s lawsuit against Facebook over privacy concerns had been granted class-action status.

Well, the Little Rock law firm representing Campbell, Carney Bates & Pulliam PLLC, also is handling a potential class-action privacy lawsuit against Google and is involved in several other high-profile data breach cases.

It has, in fact, developed something of a specialty in the area of data privacy, said law firm partner Hank Bates.

“We do a lot in the data privacy setting. We see three categories of cases we’ve done: data breach cases; what I call data privacy; and then data security insurance companies.” As for data breach cases, “We’re involved in the Home Depot data breach, the Target data breach and then the Sony data breach,” Bates said.

“The Target and the Home Depot, they were cases brought by consumers but also cases brought by banks. And we’re on the class-action side representing the banks.”

As for the highly publicized 2014 Sony data breach, Carney Bates is among the law firms representing plaintiffs who allege Sony failed to prevent hackers from obtaining and posting online personal information on thousands of former and current Sony employees.

The hackers, calling themselves the “Guardians of Peace,” locked Sony employees out of the Sony computer network and released embarrassing emails from the likes of producer Scott Rudin (he bashed Angelina Jolie) and Amy Pascal, the Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman who later apologized, saying that emails she exchanged with Rudin were “insensitive and inappropriate.” (Pascal is no longer with Sony, alleging she was fired.)

The Guardians demanded that Sony pull from theaters the movie “The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The FBI blamed the cyberattack on North Korea.

In its lawsuit against Google, Carney Bates & Pulliam, on behalf of plaintiff Daniel Matera of California, alleges that the company scans private emails sent to and from Gmail accounts. Google analyzes the emails to create data profiles of the email senders and receivers and to target advertising to them based on those profiles, the lawsuit says.

Two California firms, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Gallo LLP, are also representing the plaintiffs in the Google suit.

Bates says his firm has been involved in data privacy cases for about four years. “It basically was an area of the law that I think we were drawn to initially by an interest in the data privacy area, and then after doing several cases, we slowly started building some familiarity with it.”

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