Fandom, Inc. has violated federal law by disclosing users’ identities and video-viewing preferences to Meta Platforms (Facebook) without proper consent, a proposed class action alleges.
The 14-page suit says that the self-proclaimed world’s largest fan wiki platform has run afoul of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) by collecting users’ personal information and sharing it with Meta Platforms via a pixel installed on certain webpages. This pixel, the complaint relays, is an advertising and analytical tool with which a website owner can track visitor actions and send the corresponding data to a third party.
Per the filing, Fandom uses the Meta pixel on its website to collect analytical data about how users interact with its website, enabling it to better target more specific ads to visitors.
Fandom shared with Meta Platforms users’ individual Facebook IDs and the titles of videos they watched without first securing express written consent in a standalone consent form, the case alleges.
According to the suit, Fandom discloses a user’s Facebook profile ID and viewing content to Meta together in a single, unencrypted transmission. With a user’s Facebook profile ID, any person can quickly and easily locate, access and view the individual’s corresponding Facebook profile, the lawsuit relays.
“A user’s Facebook Profile ID is linked to their Facebook profile, which generally contains a wide range of demographic and other information about the user, including pictures, personal interests, work history, relationship status, and other details.”
When a business installs the Meta pixel on its website, it is able to collect analytical data that allows it to target more specific ads to the user, the case suggests. On the flip side, the suit says, Meta benefits from the arrangement in that businesses are incentivized to advertise through Facebook or Instagram, and Meta is able to build more fulsome profiles of its own users, which in turn allows the company to profit from providing more targeted advertisements.
The case looks to represent all United States residents who viewed video content on Fandom, were Facebook or Instagram users during the time the Meta pixel was active on Fandom, and were logged into Facebook or Instagram during the time the pixel was active on the website.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.