Privacy

Judge rules Hulu may have violated VPAA

May 2, 2014

Despite its claims that plaintiffs in a class-action suit couldn't prove injury, Hulu lost ground in court April 29 when U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ruled the media-streaming company may have disclosed data on viewers to third parties, according to a report by the Courthouse News Service.

The suit accuses Hulu of handing over private user information to marketing analysis services – using ComScore and Facebook “like” buttons to store the data – and violating the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).

Hulu had asked for a summary judgment. Beeler noted that there was no proof that the company violated user privacy by sending information to ComScore. But, she wrote, "If Hulu and Facebook negotiated the exchange of cookies so that Facebook could track information (including watched videos) about its users on Hulu's platform when the Like button loaded, or if Hulu knew that it was transmitting Facebook ID cookies and video watch pages, then there might be a VPPA violation.”

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