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Mason Companies Sale of Customer Information California Class Action

Mason Companies, Inc. sells a wide range of goods, from shoes and clothing to bedding to electronics. But the complaint for this class action alleges it sells something else as well: customer information, or Personally Identifying Transactional Data, which is offered to data aggregators, data cooperatives, list brokers, aggressive marketing companies, and so on without the consent of the customers. The complaint alleges that this violates California’s Right of Publicity Law (CRPL).

The class for this action is all California residents who, at any time during the applicable statutory period, had their names show up on a mailing list that was offered, sold, or rented by Mason.

How do we know that Mason sells this information? The complaint contains a screenshot of a web page offering “Mason Companies Enhanced Masterfile Mailing List.” The list contains names, addresses, and other information of customers who bought products from Mason’s brands, at a base price of $105 per thousand.

Among the specialized information offered are age, age of children, ailments, lifestyle, “ethnic/religion/language,” “political counts,” and “average purchase, last purchase.” There appears to be even a “select” for shoe size.

The complaint alleges that Mason is “monetizing its customers’ names and likenesses” through this practice. According to the complaint, this is “not only unlawful, but also dangerous because it allows any member of the public … to target particular customers, including vulnerable members of society” according to their demographics, characteristics, and preferences.

“For example,” the complaint claims, “anyone could buy or rent a list that contains the names, addresses, and other Personally Identifying Transactional Data of all Christian women in California over the age of 60 who earn over $100,000 per year, have children over the age of 30, and purchased a pair of shoes from Mason in the past year.”

How do Mason’s actions violate the CRPL? The complaint alleges, “Generally speaking, the CRPL prohibits using a person’s name or likeness on or in connection with a product, good, piece of merchandise, or a service without the person’s prior consent.”

It quotes the law as saying, “Any person, who knowingly uses another’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any manner, on or in products, merchandise, or goods, for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of, products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent … shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof.”

Mason does not ask for its customers’ consent before it sells their names and information, the complaint claims. In fact, it claims, many customers are unaware that their information is even being used and shared in this way.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Mason Companies Sale of Customer Information California Complaint

November 29, 2021

Mason Companies, Inc. sells a wide range of goods, from shoes and clothing to bedding to electronics. But the complaint for this class action alleges it sells something else as well: customer information, or Personally Identifying Transactional Data, which is offered to data aggregators, data cooperatives, list brokers, aggressive marketing companies, and so on without the consent of the customers. The complaint alleges that this violates California’s Right of Publicity Law (CRPL).

Mason Companies Sale of Customer Information California Complaint

Case Event History

Mason Companies Sale of Customer Information California Complaint

November 29, 2021

Mason Companies, Inc. sells a wide range of goods, from shoes and clothing to bedding to electronics. But the complaint for this class action alleges it sells something else as well: customer information, or Personally Identifying Transactional Data, which is offered to data aggregators, data cooperatives, list brokers, aggressive marketing companies, and so on without the consent of the customers. The complaint alleges that this violates California’s Right of Publicity Law (CRPL).

Mason Companies Sale of Customer Information California Complaint
Tags: Sharing Personal Information with Third Parties, Using Your Private Information Without Consent, Your Privacy