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Class action: Mubi breaks federal VPPA law by sharing user viewing info with Facebook, TikTok

SAN FRANCISCO – A woman has filed a class action lawsuit against streaming service Mubi, claiming the company violates a federal privacy law by reporting what users view on the Mubi streaming platform to Facebook, TikTok and others, without their consent.

Plaintiff Liz Johnson filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against Mubi Inc., citing allegations of invasion of privacy in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).

According to court documents, the VPPA prohibits “video tape service providers,” such as Mubi, from knowingly disclosing to any person the personally identifiable information of their customers.

Johnson states that she was a subscriber to the defendant’s video services from October 2022 to May 2023 and viewed videos on the defendant’s streaming platform, which qualifies her as a “consumer” and “subscriber “under the VPPA.

According to Johnson, Mubi violated the VPPA by disclosing her personal viewing information and that of other digital subscribers to third-party companies, such as Facebook, X Corp. (formerly known as Twitter), and TikTok, without obtaining proper consent.

The lawsuit delves into the specific mechanisms employed by Mubi to collect and share personal information with third-party partners, including the use of cookies, software development kits, and pixels. The complaint goes on to emphasize the lack of adequate disclosure in Mubi’s Privacy Policy and the absence of an option for subscribers to opt out of data sharing. It also highlights that the personal viewing information of users was not anonymized, enabling third parties to create detailed profiles of subscribers without their consent.

Johnson is seeking damages, restitution, injunctive relief, punitive damages, plus court costs, interest, attorney fees, and other relief. She is represented by attorneys John R. Parker Jr., David S. Almeida, Britany A. Kabakov, and Matthew J. Langley of The Almeida Law Group, of Sacramento, and Adam B. Wolf and Brandon M. Wise, of Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise, of San Francisco.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:23-cv-05480


Source: Northern California Record October 31, 2023