Class Action Lawsuits Continue Targeting Companies For Tracking Users’ Website Activity

As reported in the the Retail Industry Law Resource blog:

Plaintiff’s firms continue to file variations of state law wiretapping lawsuits over “session replay” software and “live chat” or “chatbot” applications in various jurisdictions. These filings typically allege that companies use such software tools to record users’ interactions with a website without first obtaining users’ consent, thereby violating the wiretapping, eavesdropping, or interception provisions of various state laws. Session replay software allows companies to record and play back user’s interactions on its websites. The “live chat” or “chatbot” feature allows a website user to engage in text conversations with an assistant, to which chat the company has access. These wiretapping claims threaten substantial penalties. Companies that use these web-tracking tools, however, can take steps to protect themselves from these lawsuits by a careful examination of the software being used and by evaluating what disclosures or consent may be warranted.

Plaintiffs’ claims arise from the wiretapping or interception provisions of various state laws that prohibit the recording of confidential communications without the consent of all parties to the communication. California courts, for example, have experienced a surge of class action filings pursuant to the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”). Specifically, section 631 of CIPA prohibits (1) intentional wiretapping of any telegraph or telephone wire, line, or cable; (2) willfully and without the consent of all parties attempting to learn the contents of a communication in transit; and (3) attempting to use or communicate information obtained as a result of

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