Illinois Federal Court Certifies Considerable Class In Data Company Privacy Suit


On April 2, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois certified a class of individuals who downloaded and installed tracking software created and operated by a data company and distributed by one of the company’s third-party bundling partners. Harris v. comScore, Inc., No. 11-5807, 2013 WL 1339262 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 2, 2013). The plaintiffs claim the data company used the tracking software to collect information on consumers’ computers, including social security numbers and other personally identifiable information. The court estimated the software was installed on millions of computers between 2008 and 2011. The court refused to certify unjust enrichment claims due to variances in laws across states, but allowed claims of violations of the Stored Communications Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to move forward. Certification of such a large class is unusual for a privacy suit, but the company’s user license agreement and the downloading statement regarding the software provided a basis for shared injury not present in other cases.

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