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Flash Cookies $2.5 M Privacy Settlement Approved

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 23, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last week, a federal judge approved a settlement in a major "Flash cookies" lawsuit, which alleged that use of the data technology in online advertising violates the privacy rights of millions of internet users every day.

Quantcast and Clearspring, the two major internet marketers named in the suit, have agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the claims, $2 million of which is being distributed to universities and research groups analyzing online privacy issues.

The rest will be paid to plaintiffs' attorneys for fees and expenses.

The rise of the "Flash cookie" lawsuit in the last few years demonstrates just how important it is for you, as a solo practitioner or an attorney at a small firm, to remain up to date on technological advances and controversies.

Prior to a 2009 study conducted at UC Berkeley, no one really knew much about Flash cookies or their impact on internet privacy.

But once it came to light that Flash cookies override a computer user's decision to delete traditional HTTP cookies and related personal information, privacy lawsuits were filed in droves.

With ever-expanding technology and the Federal Trade Commission indicating that, in coming years, it will refocus a large chunk of its resources to assessing and protecting online user privacy, you can expect similar suits and legal challenges to be a mainstay of the future.

Consider keeping up to date with these regulatory changes and watching for any hint of privacy trouble in technological paradise--it may net you your very own "Flash cookies" lawsuit.

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