A Bloomberg.com digital news subscriber has taken on the media outlet for disclosing his identity and video watch history to Facebook without proper consent under the federal Video Privacy Protection (VPPA). Wednesday’s complaint says that defendant Bloomberg L.P., as a “video service provider,” has an obligation to keep such information confidential and now must answer to the thousands of subscribers who had their privacy rights violated.
The suit, one of many newly filed VPPA or analogous state lawsuits against companies like Patreon, HGTV, and Apple, claims that Bloomberg uses Facebook’s pixel, a snippet of software code that allows it to collect users’ data. The filing describes Bloomberg’s means as “automatic and invisible,” depriving the plaintiffs of the ability to exercise judgment and “defend themselves against the highly personal ways Bloomberg.com has used and continues to use data it has about them to make money for itself.”
Blomberg benefits from its collection of users’ video watching histories by selling their information to interested parties, namely advertisers, the filing says.
The complaint alleges that although Bloomberg admits it collects and discloses certain digital subscriber personal information to third parties, such as postal address, email, geolocation, and internet browsing history, it does not tell users that it discloses personal viewing information, as required by the VPPA.
The suit claims that Bloomberg knowingly violates the law. The putative class action seeks to stop the invasive conduct and remediate the harm to subscribers nationwide through its request for legal and equitable remedies.