EPIC to Supreme Court: Congress Allows People to Sue when their Privacy Rights are Violated

March 9, 2021

EPIC has filed an amicus brief in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that people can sue when their privacy rights are violated, regardless of whether they allege that the violation led to other harms. The case concerns a suit brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), one of many laws that create privacy rights for individuals to help them maintain control over their personal information. Ramirez and many others sued after TransUnion violated the FCRA, but the company argued that they don't have "standing" to sue. Other tech companies also filed a brief arguing that the Supreme Court should limit standing in privacy lawsuits. Standing is a constitutional doctrine that dictates when federal courts have authority to resolve cases. EPIC argued that privacy plaintiffs have standing to sue and that "standing was never meant to be a complicated inquiry or a substantial barrier to the vindication of legal rights." EPIC warned that "[c]ourts that require proof of consequential harm are usurping the legislative role and rewriting these privacy laws" because "it is not the business of courts to tell Congress which rights are enforceable, and which are not." EPIC previously filed an amicus brief in Spokeo and frequently files amicus briefs in cases interpreting standing under a variety of privacy laws.

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