Disney Channel Accused of Sharing Data
(CN) - The Disney Channel application on the Roku streaming device shares information on viewing habits with third parties without users' consent, a man claims in a federal class action.
James Robinson accuses The Walt Disney Company of "brazen disregard" of the Video Privacy Protection Act, under which it is unlawful for companies to share customer's video viewing records without permission.
"Unbeknownst to its users, each time they use the Disney Channel to watch Disney videos or television shows, Disney discloses their personally identifiable information - including a record of every video clip viewed by the user (collectively, 'PII') - to unrelated third parties," according to the complaint in Manhattan Federal Court.
Robinson calls the violations "particularly flagrant," and says users' records are sent to a data analytics company Adobe.
"The business models of such 'big data' analytics companies center on the collection of disparate pieces of uniquely identifying information and online behavioral data about individual consumers, which they then compile to form comprehensive profiles about a person's entire digital life. These profiles can then be used for targeted advertising, sold as a commodity to other data brokers, or both," the complaint states.
"Accordingly, in this context Adobe may use data obtained from both the Disney Channel and Roku to personally identify its users and associate their video viewing selections with a personalized profile in its databases," the lawsuit states.
Robinson, who lives in New York state, seeks class certification, an injunction and statutory damages.
He is represented by Fred Weinstein with Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever of White Plains, N.Y.