Dow Jones & Co. was slapped with a proposed class action in New York federal court accusing the parent company of The Wall Street Journal of violating a Michigan privacy law by selling subscribers’ personal information to data miners, reports Shayna Posses of Law360.c0m.
Posses writes, “Robert Jeremy Horton’s complaint alleges that the publishing company flouted the state’s Video Rental Privacy Act by selling Michigan subscriber information like names, home addresses and demographic details to data-mining companies and other third parties, allowing the buyers to target specific groups with advertising and marketing efforts.
“‘While Dow Jones profits handsomely from the unauthorized sale and disclosure of its subscribers’ personal reading information and other personal information, it does so without regard for their privacy interests in such information,’ Horton said in his complaint, contending that the company ‘does not obtain its subscribers’ consent, written or otherwise, prior to selling their personal reading information.’
“Consumers’ personal data is an increasingly valuable commodity, inspiring rapid and massive growth in the data-mining industry, according to the complaint, which alleges that companies turn big profits by buying, trading and collecting data that is compiled into huge databases containing everything from people’s ages and race to their political views and buying habits.”
Read more here. A subscription is required. A Dow Jones & Co. spokeswoman said it had not been served yet with the lawsuit but takes the complaint seriously.