A federal appeals court has ruled that a gigantic privacy class action lawsuit against comScore can go ahead, Adweek reports.
The suit claims comScore, which is one of the best known internet traffic and web advertising measurement companies, siphoned off computer users’ personal information — including their names, passwords and credit card numbers — from their computers through dodgy free software downloads.
ComScore has denied the allegations, and suggested that the law firm that brought the suit is motivated purely by greed.
The ruling — which doesn’t address the merits of the case but allows the case to continue — could potentially involve tens of millions of plaintiffs.
The suit alleges that comScore collects data on what people look at on the web by bundling its monitoring software with unrelated free software downloads. Once a user has clicked the “Accept” button during the download, comScore’s monitoring software, OSSProxy, comes with it, the suit claims:
The OSSProxy software collects a variety of information about a consumer’s computer, including the names of every file on the computer, information entered into a web browser, including passwords and other confidential information, and the contents of PDF files.
The suit is filled with factual inaccuracies, and comScore’s position is that this lawsuit is without merit, and we fully intend to vigorously defend ourselves against it.
comScore provides essential research information on online media, through the collection of opinions and usage information from millions of opt-in consumers worldwide. comScore prides itself on its privacy and recruitment practices, which have been rigorously reviewed in annual privacy audits conducted by independent third party auditors for the last 10+ years.
Still, class action lawyers who bring privacy cases against tech companies and online advertisers will likely rejoice: The appeals court ruling has made certifying a class action against a company easier.
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