The Secure Times

An online forum of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Privacy and Information Security Committee

Insurer has no duty to defend electronic privacy claims under policy containing “Online Activities” exclusion

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An insurance policy that covers personal injury liability, with an exclusion for “online activities,” defined, in part, as “providing Internet access to third parties," does not provide coverage for an Web entity’s violations of federal computer privacy laws. Netscape Communications Corp. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 06-00198, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78400 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 10, 2007). The court granted the insurer’s summary judgment motion, ruling that, based upon the policy exclusion, the insurer does not have a duty to defend the insured for lawsuits alleging violations of federal electronic privacy laws stemming from user information gathered for targeted advertising purposes. In construing the policy exclusion, the court determined that the definition of “Internet access” under the exclusion is broader than merely providing an Internet connection and included the plaintiff’s online activities that “facilitated the ability of users to make use of the Internet.”


Author: ABA Antitrust

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