New York, NY: Conde Nast is facing a class action lawsuit alleging it has sold its customers' information to data miners and other third parties in violation of Internet privacy laws. The lawsuit, filed by a group of the publisher's customers, alleges Conde Nast and its parent company Advance Magazine Publishers Inc, offered the names, addresses, personal reading information and other demographic data of its subscribers for sale without first obtaining those subscribers' consent.
"Conde Nast' disclosure of personal reading information, and other personal, demographic and lifestyle information is not only unlawful, but also dangerous because it allows for the targeting of particularly vulnerable members of society,"the complaint states.
The proposed class action lawsuit claims Conde Nast has offered extensively detailed information about its subscribers to any and all interested properties, provided they are willing to pay roughly $180 per 1,000 consumer profiles. Conde Nast publishes many magazine titles, including The New Yorker, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveler.
According to the complaint, class representative Suzanne Boelter had her private information sold by the defendants. Boelter, a resident of Michigan and subscriber to Conde Nast titles Bon Appetit and Self, claims to have begun receiving unsolicited junk mail and promotional phone calls after Conde Nast sold her information to consumer data aggregator Insource.
The sale of Boelter' information by Conde Nast is in violation of Michigan Video Rental Privacy Act, according to the suit. The law, established in 1988, was designed to protect the media preferences of consumers from commercial exploitation because "the trail of information generated by every transaction that is now recorded and stored in sophisticated record-keeping systems is a new, more subtle and pervasive form of surveillance."
Conde Nast' sale of Boelter' data, according to the plaintiffs, violates the Michigan Video Rental Privacy Act. This 1988 law was designed to protect the media preferences of consumers from commercial exploitation because "the trail of information generated by every transaction that is now recorded and stored in sophisticated record-keeping systems is a new, more subtle and pervasive form of surveillance."
According to the complaint, Conde Nast' failure to disclose its sales of consumer data therefore threatens its customers with financial harm.
The plaintiffs in this suit are represented by Scott A. Bursor, Joseph I. Marchese and Philip L. Fraietta of Bursor & Fisher PA. The case is Boelter v. Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. d/b/a/ Conde Nast, case number 1:15-cv-05671, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.