HBO faces legal action for sharing data with Facebook without permission

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HBO is taking legal action in the United States over its users’ alleged unauthorized sharing of information with Facebook. The indictment states that the streaming platform shared data with the social network that provides access to the viewing history of content on the service.

This data, it is claimed, is used by Facebook to supplement the information of the social network on the preferences of each user and to direct the advertising presented, according to these interests. The indictment also alleges that HBO knows about how Facebook is using this data because it is one of the biggest advertisers on the platform.

The news is advanced by the site Variety, where it is also explained that the popular action – which can join all HBO customers who feel wronged by the practice – is carried out by a law firm specializing in cases of the kind.

The company has already won a lawsuit against the Hearst media group, which it accuses of violating Michigan privacy laws by selling subscriber data without permission. The group had to pay $50 million to the victims.

HBO, like most online services, notifies and asks users for permission to use cookies that collect information used to personalize advertisements and also clarifies that this information is available to you and your partners.

The indictment, however, alleges that the streaming platform did not receive specific permission from users to share their viewing history, thereby violating the principles of the Video Privacy Protection Act, which has been in force in the country since 1988.

The law now supporting this case has taken other content platforms to court before, with different results. Last year, TikTok paid $92 million to end a lawsuit in which thousands of mostly minors were suing the company for selling personal information to advertisers without consent.

In 2015, Hulu also sat in the dock for sharing data with Facebook, as Engadget recalls, but was ultimately not convicted. At the time, he managed to prove that he had no idea that the data provided to the social network could be used to create a history of customer content views. In this new case, the prosecution already dismantles this type of argument.

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