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.