You Deserve A Case Today
McDonalds greets the New Year as a defendant in a class action suit filed in federal court in New York City. It has some company, though, as its co-defendants include Mazda, Microsoft and CBS. The suit contends that the named defendants (along with 50 “John Doe” defendants) violated federal law by collecting personal information about consumers via online contests. Each of the defendants apparently used a company called Interclick to gather and track the information. According to the complaint, Interclick used “flash cookies” to avoid plaintiff’s efforts to disable information gathering cookies placed on her computer. According to the complaint, plaintiff never consented to providing the information, and the practice conflicted with the terms and conditions of the defendants’ Web sites. Among other claims, plaintiff contends that the defendants violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Just a few points. Remember that line in the movie “The Graduate” when the guy pulls Dustin Hoffman aside and gives him one word of advice – “plastics” – as the growth industry? If they update that film, that guy might whisper “online privacy suits.” They seem to crop up everyday. It’s also not clear to me why plaintiff didn’t name Interclick as a defendant. Typically in these things the philosophy is “the more the merrier.” And if you’re wondering who John Doe is, that just means that there are probably other companies who have done the same thing. If and when the plaintiff determines who they are they will be added. The John Doe designation is essentially a place holder.