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The Nation Subscription Information Disclosed to Third Parties Michigan Class Action

When advertisers get hold of an individual’s personal information and send a barrage of junk mail, who is responsible? The complaint alleges that The Nation Company, LLC (TNC) disclosed information about private subscriptions to its magazine, The Nation, to data aggregators, data cooperatives, and list brokers, among others, which then disclosed the information to advertisers, political organizations, and nonprofits. According to the complaint, this violates Michigan’s Preservation of Personal Privacy Act (PPPA).

The class for this action is all Michigan residents who, at any point during the pre-July 30, 2016 time period (before the amendment of the PPPA as of July 31, 2016), had their Private Reading Information disclosed to third parties by TNC without their consent.

The PPPA generally seeks to provide citizens with privacy as to their choice of reading material. The complaint quotes its Subsection 2 as saying that “a person, or an employee or agent of the person, engaged in the business of selling at retail, renting, or lending books or other written materials … shall not disclose to any other person, other than the customer, a record or information concerning the purchase … of those materials by a customer that indicates the identity of the customer.”

As a means of earning more money, the complaint alleges, “TNC rents, exchanges, or otherwise discloses its customers’ information—including their full names, titles of publications subscribed to, and home addresses … as well as myriad other categories of individualized data and demographic information such as gender—to data aggregators, data appenders, data cooperatives, and other third parties without the written consent of its customers.”

The complaint alleges that TNC rents or exchanges the information, rather than selling it, because it can then disclose and charge for the information again and again.

As an example, the complaint reproduces a page from NextMark, Inc., a list broker, called “The Nation Magazine Mailing List.” A rental fee offers access to the private reading information to more than 101,000 subscribers of the magazine. The “Selects” for the list include such things as gender, geographical location, and home or business address.

The plaintiff in this case, D. Darren Meahl, bought a subscription to The Nation magazine from TNC.

The complaint alleges, “Prior to and at the time [Meahl] subscribed to The Nation, TNC did not notify [her] that it discloses the Private Reading Information of its customers, and [Meahl] has never authorized TNC to do so.” Meahl was never given any kind of written notice that TNC disclosed its customers’ Private Reading Information nor was she given any means of opting out.

The result? In addition to having her privacy violated, the complaint claims, Meahl “has received a barrage of junk mail.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

The Nation Subscription Information Disclosed to Third Parties Michigan Complaint

August 5, 2021

When advertisers get hold of an individual’s personal information and send a barrage of junk mail, who is responsible? The complaint alleges that The Nation Company, LLC (TNC) disclosed information about private subscriptions to its magazine, The Nation, to data aggregators, data cooperatives, and list brokers, among others, which then disclosed the information to advertisers, political organizations, and nonprofits. According to the complaint, this violates Michigan’s Preservation of Personal Privacy Act (PPPA).

The Nation Subscription Information Disclosed to Third Parties Michigan Complaint

Case Event History

The Nation Subscription Information Disclosed to Third Parties Michigan Complaint

August 5, 2021

When advertisers get hold of an individual’s personal information and send a barrage of junk mail, who is responsible? The complaint alleges that The Nation Company, LLC (TNC) disclosed information about private subscriptions to its magazine, The Nation, to data aggregators, data cooperatives, and list brokers, among others, which then disclosed the information to advertisers, political organizations, and nonprofits. According to the complaint, this violates Michigan’s Preservation of Personal Privacy Act (PPPA).

The Nation Subscription Information Disclosed to Third Parties Michigan Complaint
Tags: Sharing Personal Information with Third Parties, Using Your Private Information Without Consent, Your Privacy