America’s Test Kitchen LP is the defendant in a proposed class action filed by a consumer who alleges theCook’s Illustratedpublisher, sometime between June and July 2016, “rented, exchanged, and/or otherwise disclosed” information about his subscription to the bi-monthly publication to data aggregators, appenders, cooperatives and list brokers. The plaintiff claims that these parties, in turn, disclosed the plaintiff’s information to “aggressive advertisers, political organizations, and non-profit companies,” who, according to the lawsuit, are responsible for a barrage of unwanted junk mail sent to the man’s house. The case claims the defendant’s conduct violates Michigan’s Preservation of Personal Privacy Act.
“Plaintiff now receives junk mail from charities and other organizations that do not offer products or services to consumers,” the suit reads.
America’s Test Kitchen, the case claims, supplements its revenues by divulging its customers’ personal details, including their full names, titles of magazines to which they’re subscribed and home addresses on top of demographic identifiers, to third parties without consent. The complaint stipulates, though, the defendant does not sell its customers’ personal information, which allows it to “disclose the information time and time again to countless third parties.”
More troubling, according to the lawsuit, is that America’s Test Kitchen’s customer data practices reportedly “allow for the targeting of particularly vulnerable members of society” by scammers. The complaint, citing a reportfrom theNew York Times, says that elderly consumers are ripe targets for white- and black-hat telemarketers that benefit from the defendant’s information sharing because “they are often at home, rely on delivery services, and are lonely for the companionship that telephone callers provide.” The latter kind of telemarketers, the case goes on, often deliberately targets elderly consumers.