La-Z-Boy, Mattel are Latest to Receive Video Privacy Act Complaint

Keith Carroll has filed joint class-action complaints against La-Z-Boy Incorporated and Mattel Inc and American Girl, LLC in the Northern District of California. He alleges their use of Facebook’s Tracking Pixel violates the Video Privacy Protection Act.

According to the complaints, Facebook generates revenue by allowing businesses to advertise on their platform. In addition to selling simple ad space, Facebook also enables advertisers to identify users more likely to buy their products, using a feature called “Custom Audiences.”

To use Custom Audiences, advertisers, such as La-Z-Boy and American Girl install cookies on their websites to track who visits their website, what products and videos they watch, and their metadata, per the plaintiff. All this information is then sent to Facebook so that La-Z-Boy and American Girl can show said visitors ads on their Facebook Feeds. 

Carroll argues that since both La-Z-Boy and American Girl create, host, and display pre-recorded videos on their respective websites, they constitute “video tape service providers” under the Video Privacy Act. As such, he alleges, it is illegal for them to disclose information about which videos he and the class members have watched to Facebook. The Video Privacy Act was enacted after then D.C. Circuit Judge Robert Bork’s video rental history was published during his Supreme Court nomination, which eventually failed.

For these alleged Video Privacy Act violations, Carroll seeks an order certifying the defendants violated said act, an injunction to halt their use of the Tracking Pixel, punitive and statutory damages for himself and class members, and recompense for attorney’s fees in bringing this action. He is represented in both cases by Pacific Trial Attorneys.