The supercookies in issue gained a reputation after the website ProPublica found the ad company, Turn, and Verizon was using them without customers’ consent. The cookies collect information about customers via a unique ID figure connected with their device and would renew even if a user tried to delete them.
The episode built a privacy furor and led the FCC to force a $1.35 million privacy agreement on Verizon in 2016, which ordered the phone corporation to obtain “positive consent” before it could use such means to track them.
During this time, Turn turned a class action suit by Verizon customers who had sued the ad company of dishonest business practices and trespassing on their machines. This happened when a judge ruled that Turn, who also provides data to the likes of Facebook and Google, could invoke the consumers’ phone records to force them into the agreement a process that can produce a remedy for an exclusive consumer but does little to fix a company or change its behavior.
On Tuesday, however, a public three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied that decision, saying Turn could not profit from the negotiation rules because it was not a party to the agreement between Verizon and its customers. As before-mentioned, Turn may have to face a trial.
The 9th Circuit’s decision also highlights the sense of location and browsing data, which marketers covet for online ads but can also present a deeply intimate picture of customers’ lives.
The value of that data was marked this week by an expression by Verizon that it would offer bonuses to consumers willing to share their location and web histories for marketing purposes. Under this rewards program, which by a chance came the same day as the court ruling, the phone titan is offering perks like Uber trips as well as sports and movie tickets.
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