Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Improper Sale Of PII For Ad Bidding Purposes – Privacy

United States:

Class action lawsuit alleges improper sales of personal information for advertising purposes

May 25, 2021

Perkins Coie LLP

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On May 18, 2021, a consumer filed an alleged class action lawsuit against a technology company in federal court in California. The consumer claims that the company violates users’ privacy by selling their personal information (PII) to a third party in connection with a real-time bidding system it uses to sell digital ads. In its complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the company stated in its privacy policy, terms of use and elsewhere that a user’s personal information would not be disclosed to any third party without the user’s consent. However, the complaint states that the company allegedly sold users’ personal information – including user location data, browsing history, and demographic and health information – to third parties participating in the company’s advertising bid auction process, without ever notifying users their data was shared. The complaint alleges that this behavior violates the Electronic Communications Act (ECPA) and a number of consumer privacy and contractual rights under California constitutional, statute and common law.

This case shows the importance of ensuring that publicly available representations about the use of personal data are consistent with the actual use of such information in practice. Organizations should regularly review their privacy policies and terms of use to ensure that users are properly informed about how their data may be used and with whom that data may be shared.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. A professional should be obtained about your particular circumstances.

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