Gannett class action alleges USA Today app collects, shares personal information with third parties

Gannett Company Indy Star Headquarters.
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Gannett USA Today data disclosure class action lawsuit overview: 

  • Who: Serge Belozerov filed a class action lawsuit against Gannett Company, Inc. 
  • Why: Belozerov claims Gannett unlawfully discloses the data of its USA Today digital subscribers to third parties, including Meta Platforms. 
  • Where: The class action lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts federal court. 

Gannett Company violates data privacy law by knowingly disclosing the data of its USA Today digital subscribers to third parties, including Meta Platforms, a new class action lawsuit alleges. 

Plaintiff Serge Belozerov claims Gannett’s alleged disclosure of its USA Today digital subscribers’ personally identifiable information and video viewing history is a violation of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). 

“Defendant chose to disregard Plaintiff’s and hundreds of thousands of other USA Today digital subscribers’ statutorily protected privacy rights by sending their sensitive data to Facebook,” the Gannett class action states. 

Belozerov claims Gannett uses cookies, software development kits and pixels to collect and share the personal information of its website and mobile app visitors with third parties. 

“In other words, digital subscribers to USA Today have their personal information disclosed to Defendant’s third-party business partners,” the Gannett class action states. 

Gannett class action claims company ‘profits handsomely’ from unlawful data disclosure

Belozerov claims Gannett “profits handsomely” by disclosing its digital subscribers personal viewing information without authorization and at the expense of privacy and statutory rights provided by the VPPA. 

USA Today subscribers, meanwhile, are unable to “exercise reasonable judgment” to defend themselves from the disclosure of their personal information since they are unaware it is happening, the Gannett class action alleges. 

Belozerov demands a jury trial and requests injunctive and declaratory relief along with punitive damages for himself and all class members.

Belozerov wants to represent a nationwide class of consumers who have had a digital subscription to an online website that is either owned or operated by Gannett.

A consumer filed a similar class action lawsuit against Gannett in 2016 over claims the company violated the VPPA by allegedly providing the personal data of individuals who downloaded its USA Today app with a third-party data analytics company. 

Do you have a digital subscription to a website owned or operated by Gannett? Let us know in the comments! 

The plaintiff is represented by Jonathan M. Jagher of Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC; Gary M. Klinger of Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC; and Katrina Carroll of Lynch Carpenter, LLP. 

The Gannett USA Today data disclosure class action lawsuit is Belozerov v. Gannett Company, Inc., Case No. 1:22-cv-10838, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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