Can a person bring a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim over unauthorized access to someone else’s computer?

Federal agents served a search warrant on plaintiff’s doctor’s office and thereby obtained access to plaintiff’s medical records, which were shared with a number of other parties involved in the criminal investigation of plaintiff’s doctor. Plaintiff sued under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Defendants moved to dismiss that claim. The court granted the motion. The CFAA prohibits unauthorized access to a “protected computer”. In dismissing the case, the court found, among other things, that there were no specific allegations that defendants accessed plaintiff’s computer.

Micks-Harm v. Nichols, No. 18-12634, 2019 WL 4781342 (E.D. Michigan, September 30, 2019)

About the Author: Evan Brown is a Chicago technology and intellectual property attorney. Call Evan at (630) 362-7237, send email to ebrown [at] internetcases.com, or follow him on Twitter @internetcases. Read Evan’s other blog, UDRP Tracker, for information about domain name disputes.