Alexander Yershov says he never gave the newspaper permission to divulge any of his personal information, yet its Android app forwards all sorts of data about him to Adobe Systems.
So, of course, he is suing.
In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court in Boston, Yershov wants to be name lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against USA Today - and is seeking $2,500 per alleged infraction plus punitive damages and lawyers' fees.
Yershov says that every time a user of the the USA Today app on Android devices views a video clip, his or her unique Android ID, GPS data and information about the clip is forwarded to Adobe, which offers a service to help companies track users across the mobile Web. And since USA Today never asked if that's OK, Yershov says, it's violating the federal Video Privacy Protection Act - passed in 1988 in reaction to the disclosure of then Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rentals.
Yershov adds this is only an issue for Android apps because Apple has taken steps to block the release of such "personally identifiable information" from iOS devices.