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In re JetBlue Airways Corp. Privacy Litigation

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
379 F. Supp. 2d 299 (E.D.N.Y. 2005)


JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue) (defendant) compiled and maintained personal information regarding its passengers in Passenger Name Records (PNRs). In addition to passengers’ names, PNRs also included passengers’ addresses, telephone numbers, and flight itineraries. Passengers supplied JetBlue with the information contained in the PNRs when purchasing flights via telephone or JetBlue’s website. JetBlue had a privacy policy stating that JetBlue would not share passenger information with third parties. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DOD) contracted with Torch Concepts, Inc. (Torch), a customer-and-information management company, to analyze personal characteristics of individuals to determine whether they posed a threat to American military installations. To accomplish this task, Torch determined that it needed data contained in the PNRs. Because JetBlue would not voluntarily share its PNRs with Torch, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wrote a letter to JetBlue asking JetBlue to share its PNRs. JetBlue complied with the TSA’s request and transferred its PNRs to Torch. Subsequently, a class of individuals whose personal information was contained in the PNRs (Class) (plaintiffs) commenced an action against JetBlue for violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Act), 18 U.S.C. § 2701, et seq., as well as for breach of contract and trespass to chattels under common law. JetBlue moved to dismiss the claims.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Amon, J.)

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