Website-Tracking Lawsuits: A Guide to New Video Privacy Decisions Starring PBS and People.com
Privacy and Data Security attorney Mark Melodia was quoted in a Cybersecurity Law Report article about the increase in privacy class action lawsuits against popular websites for tracking visitors' video watching and other activities. Since the start of 2022, more than 110 companies have faced Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) violations, and another 110 have faced state wiretapping law violations. The VPPA, enacted in 1988, offers hefty penalties for violations and has reawakened plaintiffs' interest in the statute. Mr. Melodia noted that companies have not begun settling VPPA cases yet and suggested defendants may not realize how many other companies are in the same boat.
"The litigation in court right now is the tip of the iceberg. A significant part of this fight is going on under the water in mass arbitration, in private, in Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), in American Arbitration Association (AAA)," he said.
Mr. Melodia also pointed out that companies should not overestimate the strength of these lawsuits and arbitrations.
"We're finding a huge percentage of those are just facially invalid because claimants were never subscribers and never even watched a video," he said.
READ: Website-Tracking Lawsuits: A Guide to New Video Privacy Decisions Starring PBS and People.com (Subscription required)