Disney Sued Over Potential Privacy Infringement

A class action lawsuit against the Walt Disney Co. was filed in federal court yesterday in Santa Ana, Ca. The suit alleges that Disney’s company-issued employee badges violates state law regarding privacy rights because the bar code on the badge contains the employees’ social security number and leaves workers vulnerable to identity theft.

The main concern of the plaintiffs is apparently the ease with which the badges can be swiped using smartphone applications. One of the employees found this problem when he scanned the bar code of his badge over one of his phone apps and up popped his social security information. After testing it on other employees he found that as long as anyone had this app, specifically identity thieves, they could access social security numbers which are used to infiltrate people’s financial information.

The attorney for the plaintiffs is asking for Disney to stop this practice, destroy the current badges and replace them with badges that don’t contain personal information. He is also asking for compensation for any employees that may have already been a victim of identity theft due to this practice.

According to a Bloomberg article, Walt Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said that the company is working to modify its computer systems “to address ever-changing technologies, including third-party cell phone apps.”

With social security numbers being a key to identity theft, and with the ease with which people can gain access to the employees’ personal information by simply using a smartphone application, it would seem like Disney will have to do something about this matter.

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Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

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