In re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litig., --- F.3d ---, No. 15-1441, 2016 WL 3513782 (3d Cir. June 27, 2016)

"Most of us understand that what we do on the Internet is not completely private.... We browse the Internet, and the data-collecting infrastructure of the digital world hums along quietly in the background." So began a decision by the Third Circuit holding that Viacom and Google did not violate federal or state law by tracking children's internet activities. Plaintiffs alleged that Viacom and Google unlawfully used cookies to track children's web browsing and video-watching habits on Viacom's websites for the purpose of selling targeted advertising based on the users' web history. The court dismissed claims that Viacom's actions constituted a violation of the federal Wiretap Act as well as claims under the Federal Stored Communications Act. The court found that the information Viacom shared with Google did not violate the New Jersey privacy laws, because the information shared could not be considered personally identifiable information under the statutes. Looking at whether plaintiffs had standing under Spokeo, the court determined that they did because "each plaintiff complains about the disclosure of information relating to his or her online behavior." The court, however, dismissed the majority of the claims and reversed and remanded on a discrete claim for intrusion upon seclusion. View the decision. (Read our discussion of Spokeo in Consumer Fraud Class Action Developments.)

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