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Data privacy in the U.S. media industry: New legal challenges ahead

 JournalismPakistan.com |  Published June 12, 2024

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Data privacy in the U.S. media industry: New legal challenges ahead

NEW YORK—The U.S. media industry is facing a significant challenge as several companies, including major streaming services, are hit with class-action lawsuits under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). This wave of litigation alleges that these companies have been illegally sharing viewers' video history data with third parties, such as Meta, without explicit consent.

The VPPA, established in 1988, is designed to protect consumers' video viewing privacy. Recent lawsuits claim that various media companies have violated this law by using tracking pixels that share users' video-watching habits with Meta and other entities. This legal action could have substantial financial and reputational repercussions for the implicated companies.

The outcome of these lawsuits could reshape data privacy practices across the media sector. Companies may need to enhance their compliance measures by implementing more robust consent management tools and eliminating unauthorized data-sharing practices. Failure to adapt could result in severe penalties and loss of consumer trust.

Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) are calling for greater transparency and fairness in the investigation processes. They urge law enforcement to focus on genuine threats to journalists and media freedom rather than retaliating against those reporting on contentious issues.

 

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