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Meredith Use of Magazine Subscribers’ Information California Class Action

Meredith Corporation is responsible for some of the most popular magazines in the country, including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, People, Sports Illustrated, and Southern Living. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Meredith doesn’t make money just from selling magazines; instead, it claims, the company also makes money from disclosing subscriber information, without the subscribers’ consent, in violation of the California Right of Publicity Statute.

The class for this action is all California residents whose names and/or identities were contained in any of Meredith’s data brokerage products.

The complaint alleges that Meredith supplies information to entities such as data aggregators, data cooperatives, list rental recipients, and list brokers. “The Data Brokerage Products Meredith rents, exchanges, and discloses to its Data Brokerage Clients contains its customers’ specific identities,” the complaint claims, “including their full names, titles of magazine publications subscribed to, home addresses, and myriad other categories of individualized data such as each customer’s gender, ethnicity, and religion.”

In addition, the complaint claims that Meredith prefers to rent, exchange, or disclose information, rather than outright selling it, because that allows it to profit from the same information over and over again.

The complaint alleges, “Meredith’s disclosure of names and identities and other individualized information is not only unlawful but is also dangerous, because it provides malevolent actors with the tools needed to target particular members of society.”

How is the California Right to Publicity law involved? The complaint claims that it “bans the knowing use of ‘another’s name, … or likeness, in any manner, on or in products, merchandise, or goods … without such person’s prior consent.” The phrase “one or in products, merchandise, or goods[,]” the complaint contends, was added by the California legislature “to make liable any entity who uses another person’s name in their product rather than simply in a product’s advertising.”

“Selling the names and subscriber information as detailed above[,]” the complaint claims, “clearly constitutes using a person’s name or likeness ‘on or in products, merchandise, or goods.’”

According to the complaint, Meredith does not get the consent of its customers before it discloses their information, and the customers are usually not even aware that their information is being passed on to others.

Subscribers to Meredith’s publications are not required to read any privacy policy or terms of service that might reveal this to them or that would allow the company to simply take and use their identities. Therefore, the complaint alleges that Meredith neither gets customers consent to the use of their information nor even tells them that their information is being used this way.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Meredith Use of Magazine Subscribers’ Information California Complaint

November 4, 2021

Meredith Corporation is responsible for some of the most popular magazines in the country, including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, People, Sports Illustrated, and Southern Living. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Meredith doesn’t make money just from selling magazines; instead, it claims, the company also makes money from disclosing subscriber information, without the subscribers’ consent, in violation of the California Right of Publicity Statute.

Meredith Use of Magazine Subscribers’ Information California Complaint

Case Event History

Meredith Use of Magazine Subscribers’ Information California Complaint

November 4, 2021

Meredith Corporation is responsible for some of the most popular magazines in the country, including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, People, Sports Illustrated, and Southern Living. But the complaint for this class action alleges that Meredith doesn’t make money just from selling magazines; instead, it claims, the company also makes money from disclosing subscriber information, without the subscribers’ consent, in violation of the California Right of Publicity Statute.

Meredith Use of Magazine Subscribers’ Information California Complaint
Tags: Sharing Personal Information with Third Parties, Your Privacy