Verizon settles the lawsuit for $1.35 million.
Verizon Communications Inc. has finally vouched to pay a compensation of $1.35 million paired with a three annum consent decree since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deduced that the wireless network carrier was involved in activities that violated the privacy laws from 2012-2014. This deal gives the company a safe escape since if a lawsuit would have been filed then the company might have to deal with more similar cases.
The company started to make use of a unique series of cookies in the browsing data of users that were used for advertisement purposes. The cookies were designed in a manner that it made it impossible to be disabled even when the history of the cookie was deleted. Thus, all those who had access to the cookie could easily trace the consumer’s browsing history encompassing VZ and others. Sadly, the company never acquired the consent of consumers to continue with these activities and used to following the browsing patterns of consumers. Moreover, consumers could not escape from these super cookies until the fiscal year of 2015.
As per the agreement, the network carrier has granted consumers with the ability to disable these cookies at last. The company has also promised to take the consent of consumer for such cookies in the times to come. The company has been striving to enhance its advertisement mechanism. Over the past annum, the company has made various amendments that give space to the consumer and transparency in terms of usage history and data consumption.
The company is interested in settling the issue beforehand so that it can escape from any lawsuit in the same tenure. This is not the first time when the company has breached privacy laws. Back in 2006, VZ along with the government of the United States were sued by the lawyers belonging to New Jersey with a fine of $50 billion for its privacy violation. The company gave its phone records to the National Security Agency (NSA) since they wanted to run a secretive surveillance program. It seems now that the company si lucky to have escaped with such a minor penalty since this lawsuit had the potential to reveal their Pandora box of privacy violations.
AT&T Inc. is one of those companies that followed the legacy of Verizon and came up wit similar super cookies to be used for advertisement purposes. However, the company decided to put an end to such activities before a charge was filed against Verizon. Thus, it succeeded to remain safe.
The concerns and queries regarding privacy breaches span beyond the horizon of this case. This is not the first time where a case has been reported of this nature but the past is loaded with cases on the same pattern. It is high time that the FCC starts to regulate such cases before things get out of the hand. With this settlement, it now seems that other companies will also learn their lesson and not repeat the same mistake conducted by the network carrier giant.