MediaPost reports on an agreement concerning a privacy class-action suit against Blockbuster, the video rental company:
Blockbuster has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing it of violating federal video privacy laws by retaining information about consumers’ movie rentals, court records show.
Blockbuster and the consumer who sued, Minnesota resident Baseem Missaghi, quietly filed papers earlier this month stating that they had “agreed on the principal terms” of a settlement. […]
If the settlement goes through, it will resolve a lawsuit dating to last September, when Missaghi alleged that Blockbuster unlawfully kept “a virtual digital dossier on millions of consumers nationwide.”
He alleged that Blockbuster’s records “contain not only its customers’ credit card numbers and billing/contact information, but also a highly detailed account of their video viewing histories and preferences.”
Missaghi argued that the data retention violates the Video Privacy Protection Act, a law passed in 1988 after a newspaper in Washington printed the video rental records of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. The law prohibits movie rental services from disclosing information about the movies people watch without their consent. […]
Blockbuster isn’t the only company that was accused recently of violating the Video Privacy Protection Act. Netflix, Hulu and Redbox all have been sued for allegedly violating the same law.
Netflix agreed to a $9 million settlement of the matter in February, though the details still haven’t been made public.
But Hulu and Redbox are fighting the cases.