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A federal judge in California ruled yesterday that Hulu will stand trial in a lawsuit that claims the streaming video site illegally shared viewing data about its users with third-party sites.
Hulu is facing a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), a 1988 federal law protecting the privacy of video renters. The company, however, said that the law did not apply in class action cases because you couldn’t prove “actual injury” occurred to Hulu viewers. (That basically means that you can prove specific instances where sharing data illegally led to an individual’s distress, or what have you.)
Yet, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler rejected Hulu’s argument, meaning the trial will go ahead.
The case itself was brought by Hulu customers in California, Illinois, and New York. They are seeking damages of at least $2,500 per violation as well as a sum of money for other damages. Hulu itself is accused of violating the VPPA because it shared data with both Facebook and market research firm ComScore.