A proposed class action claims Buy Buy Baby, Inc. has overstepped a Florida privacy law by “wiretapping” the electronic communications of those in the state who visit its website, buybuybaby.com.
According to the lawsuit, the retailer has embedded in its site tracking, recording and/or “session replay” software to “secretly observe and record” website visitors’ keystrokes; mouse movements and clicks; information inputted into the site; and pages and content viewed, among other details. Per the case, website users’ electronic communications were unlawfully intercepted without their knowledge or consent “for [the defendant’s] own financial gain” and in apparent violation of the Florida Security of Communications Act.
The lawsuit, which mirrors a rash of litigation filed against the likes of 1-800 Contacts, Neiman Marcus, Frontier Airlines, Old Navy, Norton, Banana Republic and Home Depot, alleges Buy Buy Baby, a baby apparel and accessories retailer, has engaged marketing firm Quantum Metric, Inc. to provide marketing analytics software for its website. Among the features offered as part of Quantum Metric’s software is “session replay,” which allows the firm’s clients to view “the reproduction of a user’s interactions on web or native mobile applications,” the suit relays.
“Session Replay allows companies to ‘to [sic] pull up any user who ha[s] visited [a] website and watch their journey as if [the company] was standing over their shoulder,’” the complaint explains. “A company can ‘see every click, every tap and exactly what the website responded with – an error, a success message, or nothing.’”
The lawsuit claims session replay software like that sold by Quantum Metric is “not only highly intrusive, but dangerous.” The case cites a 2017 Princeton University study that found session replay software was collecting sensitive user information such as passwords and credit card numbers, and notes that the use of the technology “can leave users vulnerable to data leaks and the harm resulting therefrom.”
The plaintiff, a Miami-Dade County resident, says he visited Buy Buy Baby’s website in February 2021 and made a purchase. During his visit, the plaintiff’s electronic communications, including keystrokes and mouse clicks, were intercepted by the defendant, according to the suit. Moreover, the case alleges the Quantum Metrics’ software also recorded the date, time and duration of the plaintiff’s visit, as well as his IP address, location, browser type and operating system.
The lawsuit says that whenever a visitor makes a purchase on buybuybaby.com, Quantum Metric’s software also captures their contact information, billing address and payment card information.
The lawsuit, which has been removed from Miami-Dade County Circuit Court to Florida’s Southern District Court, looks to represent residents in the state who visited the defendant’s website and whose electronic communications were intercepted or recorded by Quantum Metric on behalf of the defendant without their prior consent.
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