AMC Shares “The Walking Dead” Viewing Habits With Facebook And Is Getting Sued Over It
To some invasion of privacy is as worrisome as the pending zombie apocalypse. A class action lawsuit has been filed against AMC for allegedly sharing its website’s users viewing habits with Facebook without permission.
Ethel Austin-Spearman is one ticked off The Walking Dead fan. Since 2013, Spearman has been visiting AMC’s website to watch video clips of the hit zombie show. Unbeknownst to her, every time she stayed logged in on her Facebook account and watched a clip, AMC would share that information with Facebook. AMC transmits the user’s Facebook identification as well as the title of the video viewed by the individual. This is not just for The Walking Dad but for any other video on AMC’s website. Facebook can use that information for any purpose including creating targeted advertisements based upon the user’s viewing habits. For example, if Facebook knows that Spearman is spending time watching clips of The Walking Dead it may show her an advertisement for a website that sells zombie merchandise.
Spearman filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and similar situated AMC website users for violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act which prohibits the disclosure of video viewing records without a person’s express written consent. She seeks damages of $2,500 per violation which could be an astronomical numbers based on the number of Facebook users that have had their information shared.