Despite their best legal efforts, Hulu aren’t off the class action hook yet. They may have gotten several claims in the year-old unauthorized data sharing suit against them dismissed, but the website will still have to face a charge of violating the Video Privacy Protection Act. In a 12-page order (read it here) a federal judge last week rejected Hulu’s motion to dismiss the final claim. Hulu argued that the Act, which was passed in 1988, didn’t specifically deal with the issue of digitally transmitted content. The court wasn’t buying it. “Give Congress’ concern with protecting consumer’s privacy in an evolving technological world, the court rejects the argument,” wrote Judge Laurel Beeler. The judge’s order allowing the action to continue came over year after plaintiffs Joseph Garvey and Stacey Tsan filed their initial suit against Hulu and web analytics company Kissmetrics on July 29, 2011. The plaintiffs claimed that Hulu illegally “retransmitted their viewing choices to a number of third parties.” The parties were listed as Scorecard Research, Facebook, Google Analytics and online ad networks DoubleClick and Quantserve. The 2011 suit also claims that the subscriber service hacked and repurposed the plaintiffs’ browser caches with secret cookies and other tracking information. The latest order by the judge last week moves the case forward. It follows hearings in San Francisco on the matter on June 7, in which Hulu failed to show that the plaintiffs weren’t harmed by its tracking actions, and on August 9, 2012, on Hulu’s attempt to dismiss the remaining charge. Hulu is owned in a joint venture between NBCUniversal, News Corp and the Walt Disney Company.
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