Advertising Law Newsletter - January 24, 2011


In this issue: Companies Sued Over Online “History Sniffing”; Judge: TCPA Applies to Text Messages; Photo on Twitter Didn’t Grant Blanket License; Off-Balance: False Advertising Suit Filed Over New Balance Toning Shoes; and Health Groups Seek Warning Labels on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks.

Excerpt from Companies Sued Over Online “History Sniffing”:

Several major companies, including McDonald's, Mazda and Microsoft, were sued for “history sniffing” for acting in concert with Interclick, a behavioral advertising network. The putative class action suit, filed in New York federal court, claims that the practice violated the plaintiff’s privacy by mining her Web surfing history for marketing purposes.

Plaintiff Sonal Bose filed suit alleging that Interclick and the four companies violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and New York state law by monitoring her Web browsing without her knowledge. She claimed that Interclick used Flash cookies to store tracking data on consumers’ computers as a substitute and back-up for browser cookies when consumers set their browser controls to block third-party cookies. This “surreptitious” and “deceptive” method of history sniffing was unknown to the plaintiff, according to her complaint.

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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