SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A Texas woman is suing Blockbuster Inc.,
alleging the video rental company transmitted her personal
information to Facebook.com without her permission.
Cathryn Elaine Harris of Dallas County claims that Beacon,
Facebook's marketing program, got the information from Blockbuster
through computer tracking programs.
Her complaint was filed April 9 in the U-S District Court for
the Eastern District of Texas. Harris claims Blockbuster violated
the Video Privacy Protection Act by allowing Facebook to get at
information on her movie renting and buying habits.
Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Dallas-based Blockbuster, said
the company denies the allegations.
Beacon, which members could always opt out of, tracks purchases
Facebook members make online and sends members' "friends" alerts
about the transactions.
Within a few weeks of its November launch, thousands of
complaints poured in from Facebook users who hadn't realized it
would share their commercial activity. Now users must opt into the
program if they want it.
Harris' lawsuit, which she hopes the court will certify as a
class action, claims the damage is already done and that
Blockbuster continues to share her information.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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