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Video Privacy Protection Claims (VPPA)

Providing Nationwide Representation for VPPA Violation Claims

The national class action law firm, Levin Law, P.A., is investigating claims related to violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”). The VPPA was passed in an effort to protect consumers from the unconsented disclosure of their viewing history and other information. 

Several websites have been accused of violating the Video Privacy Protection Act by collecting, storing, and sharing data with third parties without a customer's explicit consent. Individuals who have had their information unlawfully disclosed are encouraged to contact Levin Law, P.A. at (305) 402-9050 or for a free case evaluation. Levin Law founder and managing attorney, Brian Levin has secured millions of dollars on behalf of clients nationwide. 

What Is the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA)?

The Video Privacy Protection Act was originally passed in 1988. In effect, it prohibited the disclosure of a person’s personal information without their informed consent. At the time, it was designed to protect consumers from the unlawful sharing of video rental records that contained “personally identifiable information.”

Under VPPA, protected information could only be disclosed:

  • To the customer
  • To another party with the written consent of the customer
  • Pursuant to a state or federal warrant, subpoena, or under a court order;
  • To a party as long as the information was only the names and addresses of consumers, and customers had a chance to opt-out of the disclosure;
  • To a party, if the disclosure was incident to the “ordinary course of business,” or
  • Pursuant to a civil court order.

In 2013, Congress amended certain provisions of VPPA. Under the amendments, consent may be obtained through electronic means and may be given either at the time the disclosure is sought or any time up to two years in advance. Furthermore, providers must give consumers a “clear and conspicuous” way to withdraw consent. 

Does VPPA Apply to Streaming Services and Social Media Platforms?

As the way that individuals viewed movies evolved from video cassettes to streaming services, the question became whether VPPA extended to these online platforms. Lawsuits have been filed against websites and other internet-based providers that have seemingly violated VPPA by disclosing personal information protected by the act. 

VPPA defines “video tape service provider(s)” as companies that provide “prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual materials.” It is likely that this broad definition will aid consumers in arguing that websites such as Hulu should be held liable for VPPA violations. 

Which Websites Allegedly Engaged in VPPA Violations?

Several popular websites and online video service providers have had lawsuits filed against them. Individuals who have had their viewing history shared without their informed consent are strongly encouraged to contact Levin Law, P.A. to determine their legal options.

Websites that have allegedly engaged in VPPA violations include:

  • Hulu
  • Facebook
  • Zappos
  • Viacom
  • Google
  • Boston Globe
  • WebMD
  • ESPN
  • HGTV
  • Fandom
  • Netflix
  • Bloomberg

The 2013 amendments to VPPA require that users be given a clear opportunity to opt out of their consented disclosure. Failure to provide this withdrawal option may be considered a violation of the Act. It is important to act quickly as consumers have a limited amount of time to bring a claim for damages against a liable party.

Contact Levin Law, P.A. for a Free Case Evaluation

If your information was shared without your consent, you need to contact Levin Law, P.A. to discuss your rights with an attorney. Sharing data with a third party may be considered a violation of the Video Privacy Protect Act and a direct invasion of your privacy. 

Call managing partner Brian Levin today at (305) 402-9050 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Most cases are handled on a contingency-fee basis, meaning clients are not responsible for Levin Law’s attorney fees unless money is recovered on their behalf.

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