Any Facebook users who have a CNBC account and watched videos on CNBC.com.
What’s Going On?
It’s suspected that NBCUniversal, the owner of CNBC.com, may have secretly shared these users’ data – including which videos they watched on the website – with Facebook through a tracking tool. Attorneys are now gathering CNBC.com users to take action over potential violations of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act.
Is This a Lawsuit?
No, the attorneys are pursuing a legal strategy called mass arbitration, which involves many consumers filing individual claims against the same company over the same issue.
What Could I Get?
While there are no guarantees, it’s possible that those who participate could be entitled to as much as $2,500.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into whether NBCUniversalillegally collected and sharedCNBC.com accountholders’ data with Facebook.
They have reason to suspect that NBCUniversal may have used a website tracking tool to secretly gather information about these CBNC.com users – specifically, their Facebook IDs and details about the videos they’ve watched on the website – and then pass along the data to Facebook.
The attorneys believe NBCUniversal may have violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Act by sharing certain data about consumers without their consent – and they’re gathering CNBC.com subscribers to take action.
If you’re a Facebook user who has a CNBC account and watched videos on CNBC.com, you may have a claim worth as much as $2,500.
How Could NBCUniversal Be Sharing CNBC.com Subscribers’ Data?
Many website operators use tracking tools to gather information about how consumers interact with their websites. One such tool, known as the Meta pixel, is a snippet of invisible code used on over 30 percent of popular websitesthat can be programmed to track certain actions visitors take and share it with Facebook.
It’s believed that NBCUniversal may have installed the Meta pixel on CNBC.com to disclose which videos its users with accounts watched on the website along with each person’s Facebook ID. A Facebook ID is a unique identifier linked to an individual’s Facebook account and could potentially be used to match up a specific person with the video they’ve watched on CNBC.com.
In general, website operators and Facebook can use the data collected by the Meta pixel to show their users advertisements that are better targeted to their particular preferences.
Attorneys suspect that NBCUniversal may have violated the Video Privacy Protection Act, a federal law prohibiting “video tape service providers” from revealing a consumer’s personal information – specifically, the videos they’ve requested or watched – to third parties without the individual’s written consent.
The attorneys believe NBCUniversal may not have obtained subscribers’ written consent before collecting and sharing their personal information with the social media giant in violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act.
What Am I Signing Up For, Exactly?
You are signing up to participate in what’s called “mass arbitration,” which is a type of legal proceeding that takes place outside of the court.
NBCUniversal’s terms of service require consumers to resolve any disputes concerning their use of or interaction with CNBC.com through arbitration, meaning that subscribers have waived their right to file a class action lawsuit and must resolve the matter before a neutral arbitrator instead of in court before a judge or jury. For this reason, the attorneys have decided to handle the matter through mass arbitration, an explanation of which can be found on our blog:
…[M]ass arbitration occurs when hundreds or thousands of consumers file individual arbitration claims against the same company over the same issue at the same time. The aim of a mass arbitration proceeding is to grant relief on a large scale (similar to a class action lawsuit) for those who sign up.”
How Much Could I Get if I Sign Up?
There are no guarantees, but those who sign up for the mass arbitration could potentially be entitled to a claim worth hundreds of dollars. The Video Privacy Protection Act states that companies who violate the law may be required to pay up to $2,500 to each person harmed.
How Much Does This Cost?
It costs nothing to sign up. The attorneys handling the mass arbitration will only get paid if they recover money on your behalf, and their payment will come as a percentage of your award.