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Volume XIII, Number 32

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New Class Action Alert: VPPA Claims

The newest old privacy law being weaponized in consumer class actions is the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), a Reagan- era law passed in the wake of Judge Robert Bork’s video rental history being leaked to the press. 

The VPPA imposes liability on companies “engaged in the business … of rental, sale, or delivery of prerecorded video[s]” when they knowingly disclose personally identifiable information related to a consumer and their video viewing history.

We know what you’re thinking: 

But what does this have to do with my company?  We don’t sell or rent videos, and we’re not a streaming company. 

Here’s the catch: according to several recently filed complaints against companies not in the content distribution business, these companies are allegedly violating the VPPA by using a tracking pixel on their websites, displaying videos related to their products or services, and permitting that tracking pixel to communicate with third parties. After a small amount of VPPA class actions against streaming companies lost steam several years ago, this latest variant of VPPA lawsuits is targeting companies across industries, from news outlets, sports organizations, consumer products companies, and more. Relief under the VPPA may include actual or liquidated damages of at least $2,500, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other equitable relief.

© 2023 ArentFox Schiff LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 23
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About this Author

Adam D. Bowser Litigation TCPA Communications Telecom Law Partner Arentfox Schiff LLP
Partner

Adam’s practice focuses on complex litigation in federal and state courts, including class action trials and appeals, as well as related advocacy before administrative agencies in rulemaking and enforcement proceedings. He has been recognized as a Washington, DC Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Communications Law every year since 2014 and he has recently won several notable victories for clients brought into class-action litigation arising out of consumer protection and privacy laws, particularly the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). As part of his deep expertise...

202-857-6126
Eva J. Pulliam Attorney Brand Protection Arent Fox Schiff Washington DC
Partner

Eva splits her time between Washington and San Francisco and concentrates her practice on brand protection: protecting data, brand image, and brand names. She advises clients across numerous industries on best practices in the areas of data privacy, advertising and marketing, and trademark. Household names, tech giants and startups, non-profits, and other innovative organizations call on Eva to guide them through product development and brand management. 

In the privacy space, Eva counsels clients around data collection, use, and transfer, as...

202-857-6323
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