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Home Depot Wiretapping of Website Visitors FSCA Class Action

The complaint for this class action alleges that the Home Depot, Inc. has hired Quantum Metric, Inc. to install marketing analytics software into its website. This session replay software wiretaps visitors, the complaint claims, recording the pages they view, their movements, and their mouse clicks. The complaint brings suit under the Florida Security of Communications Act (FSCA).

The class for this action is Florida residents who visited the Home Depot website (www.homedepot.com) and whose electronic communications were intercepted or recorded by Quantum Metrics of behalf of Home Depot without their prior consent.

The point of the session replay software is to help businesses improve the design of their websites and the experience of those who visit. The software tracks visits whether the consumer is using a desktop or a mobile device to access the website.

The complaint quotes Quantum Metric to describe what the software does: “Session Replay allows companies ‘to pull up any user who ha[s] visited [a] website and watch their journey as if [the company] was standing over their shoulder.’ A company can ‘see every click, every tap and exactly what the website responded with—an error, a success message, or nothing.’”

This, Quantum Metric claims, allows the software to “capture all the metadata behind the replay…” In other words, the software allows companies to see each visitor’s electronic communications with the website, “including what a visitor clicked on, when a visitor reloaded a page, and where a visitor’s mouse pointer is located at any given moment.”

Quantum Metric says that “[o]ne data is captured, it’s sent encrypted via a forward secrecy SSL connection, to the Quantum Metric cloud service, hosted in a secure Google Compute cloud.”

The complaint calls such software “not only highly intrusive, but dangerous.” It refers to a study by Princeton University where these kinds of technologies were found to be “collecting sensitive user information such as passwords and credit card numbers. The research notes that this wasn’t simply the result of a bug, but rather insecure practices.” These technologies therefore “leave users vulnerable to data leaks and the harm resulting therefrom.”

The complaint alleges that when visitors to the Home Depot website buy an item, they enter personal information, which Quantum Metric’s software captures.

At no point does the website ask visitors if they consent to being wiretapped. Visitors are never told about the wiretapping. According to the complaint, “Home Depot’s privacy policy is located at the very bottom of the Website’s home page with no notice directing visitors to the privacy policy…” Even if visitors did go there and discover they were being wiretapped, the complaint says, Home Depot began the wiretapping before it made the disclosure. Visitors place orders without any knowledge of the wiretapping.

The complaint contends that visitors “did not consent to being wiretapped on the Website, nor to having their communications recorded and shared with” Quantum Metric and Home Depot.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Home Depot Wiretapping of Website Visitors FSCA Complaint

May 20, 2021

The complaint for this class action alleges that the Home Depot, Inc. has hired Quantum Metric, Inc. to install marketing analytics software into its website. This session replay software wiretaps visitors, recording the pages they view, their movements, and their mouse clicks. The complaint brings suit under the Florida Security of Communications Act (FSCA).

Home Depot Wiretapping of Website Visitors FSCA Complaint

Case Event History

Home Depot Wiretapping of Website Visitors FSCA Complaint

May 20, 2021

The complaint for this class action alleges that the Home Depot, Inc. has hired Quantum Metric, Inc. to install marketing analytics software into its website. This session replay software wiretaps visitors, recording the pages they view, their movements, and their mouse clicks. The complaint brings suit under the Florida Security of Communications Act (FSCA).

Home Depot Wiretapping of Website Visitors FSCA Complaint
Tags: Your Privacy, wiretapping