In what may be an emerging trend in the realm of class action litigation, NaviStone and yet another online retailer have been named in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleges the companies violate federal law by tracking anonymous website users’ behaviors and information without consent or disclosure. The complaint, filed in New York, marks the third lawsuit filed this week over allegations the consumer data broker and a retailer—this time Charles Tyrwhitte, Inc., which runs CTShirts.com—have violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (the “Wiretap Act”).
In step with the previous cases, this lawsuit claims NaviStone, through a small parcel of “back door” code injected into e-commerce websites, unlawfully observes and stores consumers “keystrokes, mouse clicks and other electronic communications in real time”—even when a consumer does not make a purchase. According to the plaintiff, the goal of the defendants’ alleged “wiretapping” is to de-anonymize consumers as a means of learning their real-world identities.
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