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California man claims the Globe sends his personal info to Facebook, sues

An Irvine, CA man who says he's had a digital Globe subscription since 2020 today sued the media outlet for $5 million, alleging it's been sending his personal information to Facebook whenever he watches videos on the Globe site.

In his suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, David Ambrose is seeking to become lead plaintiff in a case to represent all online Globe subscribers.

Ambrose, who says he subscribes to the Globe online in large part to watch its videos, charges the Globe embeds a "Facebook tracking pixel" in its videos and uses that to collect his name, the name of the video and other information for shipment to Facebook. Ambrose says he was never given the chance to opt out of this, in violation of a federal law that dates back to Robert Bork's trash that bars video providers from disseminating information about users to third parties.

By compelling a visitor’s browser to disclose the Advanced Matching parameters alongside event data for videos, Boston Globe knowingly discloses information sufficiently permitting an ordinary person to identify a specific individual’s video viewing behavior.

And as Facebook was building up data on Globe subscribers, it was helping the Globe use the data to better target its ads on Facebook to Ambrose and similar users, the complaint alleges.

Ambrose claims he was upset when he discovered what was happening - angry enough to hire attorneys in Boston, New York and Miami to sue.

Free tagging: 
PDF icon Complete complaint659.77 KB


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I absolutely HATE HATE when I search for something and then start getting ads for it on unrelated websites. It makes me so angry that I want nothing to do with the product.

If this lawsuit manages to solve that problem, it will be one of the few class action lawsuits I think is a good idea.

Voting closed 3

Don't search for things using Google. Use duckduckgo or another search engine. Googles parent company (alphabet) own many companies, Google search is one, chrome browser is one, YouTube is another, and doubleclick I think it's called is their ad service a lot of websites use. They share their information on you across their different companies, so if you search in Google they will share that search or if you browse to a website with chrome they will share that info with their ad company. Degoogle yourself (and Facebook and it's companies like Instagram) and you will see far less.

Voting closed 19

If you clear the history on your browser after you do a product search (or even once you start getting follow-up ads) the ads will stop. Simple.

Voting closed 17

- Use Firefox's "Private Browsing Window" or Chrome's "Incognito Mode", which is like temporarily using a fresh browser and so will have the same effect but without having to lose your history and cookies and everything
- Use an adblocker such as uBlock Origin to reduce the number of tracking scripts that are harvesting your data (not just the number of ads you end up seeing)

Voting closed 4

Nope, already doing all of that. Incognito windows, clearing everything often, ad blocker extension. It still happens.

Voting closed 2

I have my Facebook account logged in to my wife's computer at home. If she Googles swimwear, I start getting bikini ads on uHub. It's all good.

Voting closed 2

There's a free version, and when you run it, it deletes all the cookies unless you've told it to save some. uMatrix cuts down on the cookies, but a lot still get through. Like, hundreds.

This is not the old email cleaner CC Cleaner, BTW.

Voting closed 1

Incognito mode is basically just good for deleting history and local cookies. It will still allow cross-domain tracking and will serve you ads for the things you specifically launched an Incognito windows to search for

Voting closed 11

I find it useful sometimes.

Voting closed 4

Untill you realize its true.
These companies know more about us than most like to admit.
I'm talking about you Alexa. :o

Voting closed 3

10 years ago Target figured out that women were pregnant based upon what they bought in the first trimester. Subsequently, they would mail coupons for items like formula and diapers.

This led to a teenager being outed as pregnant to her family before she disclosed her pregnancy because her dad saw the formula and diaper coupons in the mailbox and put 2 and 2 together.

And these companies have had the benefit of 10 years of technological advancement.


Voting closed 24

I installed the Target app because I'm avoiding going inside stores and it's the only way to do curbside pickup. It totally creeped me out that they had a record of my past in-store purchases from years before I created any kind of account. I know what data gets collected by stores when you use a credit card, but it was still disturbing to see it all. At least they show it to you in your account.

Voting closed 10

I think not. The totalitarian influences in our culture have been restrained, but not inactive. Again, under a truly disinhibited authoritarian American regime, your corporate employer would slowly but surely become your worst nightmare; and that's before they "legally" indenture your children to work for them.

Don't think it is any other way.

Voting closed 9

Big Brother is not the state, but private corporations like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Voting closed 25

The government is collecting information about you. It doesn't always actively examine all that information, but it can. It can also know everything those corporations know about you, if it wants to.

Voting closed 30

everyone agrees to their contact list (fone number, email, address, birth date, ...) being uploaded to silicon valley when one installs social media apps on their device. none of my friends ask for my permission.

Voting closed 14

I never do.

Voting closed 13

All use of the Internet records your type of web browser or cell phone and the Internet Presence (IP) address for your session. This is what is used. You look at lawnmowers on Lowes or Home Depot, then go to Facebook. You will see adverts for lawnmowers and similar products. This is because your IP address was recorded, as well as what web site you went to. If the data can drill down to the product you also see that.

Anyone that has their own private web service to host pages usually can obtain usage stats that show what pages are most popular (number of accesses), the type of browser in use so you can tweak the HTML code, what page they came from, and what page they went to when they left your page. As someone who handles web sites for two businesses I can see all of that info. This is what the advertisers purchase and have manipulated to their advantage.

There is a question as to how much of this is your private info and how much of it belongs to the web host company.

I wish this guy well, but this will be in the courts a long time if it is allowed to press forward.

Voting closed 15