Video & Audio|October 5, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: , , ,

Pandora Sued For Revealing User Tastes Via Facebook

pandora privacy lawsuit class action

Although Spotify’s wide-scale integration of its service with Facebook (a service that’s emerging as the big, bad meanie of online privacy) has rubbed many users the wrong way, it’s Pandora that’s on the hot seat when it comes to user data and sharing via the social network.

A Michigan man is suing Pandora alleging his Nickelback fixation “sensitive listening records” were leaked to Facebook friends without his knowledge or consent via a connection between the services. Peter Deacon’s lawsuit doesn’t detail what the information may have been, but whatever it was was enough to prompt the man to file the suit seeking class action status. Deacon contends Pandora violated Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act, barring companies that rent books, music or videos from “disclosing customers’ identities without their consent.”

The statue in Michigan is more broadly written than federal law and allows for $5,000 per violation should a company be found in violation. In the suit filed in US District Court in Northern California, Deacon contends:

“At no time did Pandora ever receive consent to disclose its users’ protected information to their Facebook contacts.”

Pandora has not commented publicly on the suit, but given the increasing focus on integrating social networks and music-listening habits, streaming outfits may be keeping a watchful eye on the suit’s outcome.