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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Gannett subsidiary allegedly violated Internet privacy

By Mark Payne | Dec 12, 2014

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi | Florida Attorney General's Office

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi reached a $750,000 settlement agreement with a Gannett Corp. subsidiary on Thursday over allegations that the digital firm violated Internet privacy settings.

The deal is part of a multi-state agreement with PointRoll, Inc., which allegedly circumvented users' computer settings via cookies on some Safari Internet browsers used on iPhones and iPads. Cookies are small files that allow advertising companies to track a user's Internet history.

“Consumers have a right to surf the Web without fear that businesses are bypassing the privacy settings on their computers or mobile devices," Bondi said. “Today's settlement with PointRoll should serve as a reminder that we are committed to protecting people’s privacy on the Internet, and we will not tolerate conduct that involves circumventing browser privacy settings without a user’s knowledge or consent.”

In addition to the financial settlement, PointRoll has agreed to no longer override users' cookie-blocking settings; revise its privacy policy; instigate a new training program for employees related to computer privacy; and cooperate with compliance monitoring.

New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Illinois and Connecticut also are part of the settlement agreement.

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Florida Office of the Attorney General