Chapter 2: What Counts As Advertising Injury?
Part 3: Third-Party Disclosure
Lane v. Facebook, a class-action lawsuit, is a good example of this. Back in 2011, Facebook's Beacon program updated users' profiles when they shopped or visited websites that contracted with Facebook. The case involved lead plaintiff Sean Lane, who had bought a ring for his wife on Overstock.com. Immediately, the purchase was broadcast to his network of 700+ friends without his knowledge or approval.
The defendants argued that Facebook never asked for their permission to broadcast their "outside web activities" across Facebook, which the defendants claimed violated various privacy rights statutes.
The judge remarked that the program caused users embarrassment and damages to employment, business, or personal relationships, noting that many people shop online to increase their privacy. The case settled for $9.5 million.
It's a case worth heeding if your business acquires information about individual purchasing behaviors. Unless you have explicit permission to broadcast the findings, keep them confidential.
Next: Part 4: Invasion of Privacy