Issue: Privacy violations
Lieff Cabraser represents plaintiffs in class action litigation alleging that internet marketing company Turn, Inc. violates users’ digital privacy by installing software tracking beacons on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices. The complaint alleges that in an effort to thwart standard privacy settings and features, Turn deploys so-called “zombie cookies” that cannot be detected or deleted, and that track smartphone activity across various browsers and applications. This conduct allegedly violates consumer protection statutes and the common law.
How Turn Ignored Privacy Concerns
Most smartphones and browsers have standard features for clearing and blocking “cookies,” which are small pieces of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser program, and which can be used to track the user’s Internet activity. According to the complaint, Turn’s own research found that 69% of users routinely delete cookies in order to “shield their online privacy,” and that the majority of people had serious privacy concerns with online tracking and profiling.
Nevertheless, Turn allegedly deploys cookies that evade detection or deletion — the cookies regenerate even if deleted by a smartphone user, prompting security experts to call them “zombie cookies” or “super cookies.” According to the complaint, Turn does this by secretly exploiting a feature of the routing processes of all Verizon customers’ mobile devices. This allows Turn to track and correlate Internet activity across the entire device. Turn’s surveillance, therefore, vastly eclipses traditional methods of gathering user data. Turn uses the data harvested by these cookies to build robust user profiles and sell targeted and profitable advertising. All of this is done without the user’s knowledge or consent.
The Plaintiffs allege that Turn’s conduct violates consumer protection laws and amounts to trespass. Plaintiffs seek injunctive and declaratory relief, restitution, and statutory and monetary damages.
If you own a smart mobile device — for example, an iPhone or Android phone or tablet — and you have a Verizon data plan for that device, your privacy rights may have been violated by Turn. We welcome the opportunity to review your case and assist you in protecting your digital privacy.