Legal Investigation Looks into Spotify Over Potential Privacy Violations
Last Updated on April 14, 2023
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone with a Facebook account who watched videos on Spotify.com.
- What’s Going On?
- It’s believed that Spotify may have violated a federal privacy law by secretly tracking which videos Facebook users have watched on its website and sharing that data with Meta (the owner of Facebook). Now, attorneys are gathering Spotify users to take action against the company.
- What Am I Signing Up For?
- You’re signing up to participate in what’s called “mass arbitration,” which involves hundreds or thousands of consumers filing individual arbitration claims against the same company over the same issue. It’s different from class action litigation and takes place outside of court.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear from anyone with a Facebook account who watched videos on Spotify’s website.
Specifically, they’re investigating whether Spotify violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) and possibly the laws of certain states by sharing users’ data – specifically, information about the videos they’ve watched on Spotify.com and their Facebook IDs – with Meta without each person’s informed, written consent.
Did Spotify Violate Users’ Privacy?
Attorneys are investigating whether Spotify violated a federal law called the Video Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits “video tape service providers” from disclosing information that identifies which video materials a person has requested or watched without first obtaining the individual’s consent.
It’s believed that Spotify may have installed a tracking tool on its website called the Meta pixel that can be used to gather data about website visitors and share it with Meta. Specifically, the attorneys suspect that Spotify may have used the Meta pixel to track which videos its users have watched on Spotify.com and send that information to Meta along with each person’s Facebook ID. A Facebook ID is a unique identifier linked to an individual’s Facebook profile and could potentially be used to match up a specific person with the videos they’ve watched on Spotify’s website.
In general, the data collected by a website through the Meta pixel can be used by both the website operator and the social media giant to better target advertisements to their users.
The attorneys suspect that Spotify may not have obtained users’ consent to collect and share video data with Meta as required by the Video Privacy Protection Act and certain state wiretapping laws.
What Am I Signing Up For, Exactly?
You’re signing up to participate in what’s known as “mass arbitration,” which is different from a class action lawsuit and takes place outside of court.
Spotify’s terms and conditions agreement contains a provision that prohibits users from filing class action lawsuits against the company and instead requires them to arbitrate any disputes. That’s why attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to handle the potential privacy issue on a mass arbitration basis instead of filing a class action lawsuit.
Mass arbitration involves hundreds or thousands of consumers each filing individual arbitration claims against the same company over the same issue. In some situations, a company faced with a massive amount of arbitration claims may decide to settle the matter on what is essentially a class-wide basis instead of paying the costly upfront fees that come along with arbitrating each individual claim.
Arbitration, in general, is a form of dispute resolution through which two parties resolve a matter before an independent arbitrator instead of a judge or jury.
What Does This Cost?
It costs nothing to sign up, and if the attorneys handling the mass arbitration win your claim, they will be paid a percentage of your award. If they don’t win, you don’t pay.
What Could I Get?
While there are no guarantees, those who sign up for the mass arbitration could be entitled to up to $2,500 or more.
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