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Boston Globe agrees to pay $4 million to settle online-privacy suit

The Boston Globe and a California man who says he was very put out by the "tracking pixel" that allegedly funneled his Globe video viewing habits to Facebook today filed a proposed settlement in which the Globe will create a fund to pay visitors to bostonglobe.com while it was using "Facebook tracking pixels" and set aside $1 million to extend the subscriptions of digital subscribers for a week in recompense.

The proposed settlement agreement, which still needs the approval of a judge in US District Court in Boston, states this should mean payouts of between $22 and $44 for each digital subscriber.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, the Globe will also stop using the tracking pixel on pages that play video in such a way that they could possibly be used to identify visitors.

David Ambrose of Irvine, CA filed a class-action lawsuit against the Globe last year, saying 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.

The Globe had argued the Video Privacy Protection Act was only meant to protect the privacy of people who rent literal video cassettes by companies engaged in that as their main business and so didn't apply to online visitors to Web sites. In September, however, the judge in the case rejected the Globe's request to dismiss the suit on that basis, saying Ambrose had made a good enough case to continue his case.

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Comments

Between this, screwing up the reporting on T employees not living in Boston, and covering for/colluding with Rachael Rollins, the Globe is on quite a roll!

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We have full access to the digital Globe, but are we covered by this agreement?

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And you ate them.

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I use Brave herbalist it has built in AdBlock and tracker prevention. It also has an extension for the VPN I use so that I can still have some measure of privacy and safety against potential malware hidden in ads.

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CCleaner deletes tracking cookies, and lots of other crap, too. Free for PCs.

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With Firefox I like to use "uBlock Origin". (Don't use "uBlock", which is related but is less reputable. Long story.)

EDIT: Firefox also has some built-in tracker blocking, called "Enhanced Tracking Protection". It's on by default. It's much more conservative in what it blocks, though.

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uBlock origin, like the ad blockers I've tried, does not block all tracking cookies.

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Privacy Badger strips cookies off of some web traffic, for example.

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Serious question. Why does it seem like so many lawsuits happen in CA and by those from that state? Does that state have a culture where suing is at play?

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That's a lot of people to bring lawsuits.

But don't worry, we have our share of people filing lawsuits, too.

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By funneling did the defendant mean selling? Why would the Boston Globe just give this information to Facebook? Also when do I get my check? I pay for the online version that sends me an email everyday with the latest headlines and access to the rest of the paper.

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