A federal court has ruled that a privacy class action lawsuit against Hulu, the video streaming service, may continue. Hulu users allege that the company violated the Video Privacy Protection Act by transferring personally identifiable information to both Facebook and the advertising company comScore. The Judge ruled that Hulu's transfer to Facebook of unique IDs, including the user's IP address and Facebook ID, as well as specific video titles would violate the video privacy law. However, the judge determined that Hulu only transmitted anonymized user IDs to comScore and that therefore there could be no legal violation. In 2009, EPIC filed an amicus brief in a similar case in which a company disclosed consumers' identities and video rental histories to Facebook. For more information, see Harris v. Blockbuster and EPIC: Video Privacy Protection Act.
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler