Gannett subsidiary agrees to multi-state settlement

By Mark Payne | Dec 12, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen   Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Connecticut signed a multi-state settlement agreement with a Gannett Corp. subsidiary that involves allegations the digital firm violated Internet privacy settings, Attorney General George Jepsen announced on Thursday. 

PointRoll, Inc. agreed to the $750,000 settlement following allegations that it circumvented users' computer settings via cookies on iPhones and iPads using Safari Internet browsers. Cookies allow advertising companies to track a user's Internet history.

"Consumers should have the right to freely surf the Web without concern that advertisers are utilizing various efforts to bypass privacy settings in order to extract information," Jepsen said. “We take allegations of bypassing consumers' privacy settings seriously and remain vigilant of conduct that attempts to circumvent such settings without a user's knowledge or consent."

Connecticut will receive $110,000 of the $750,000 settlement.

“Brazenly disregarding consumer preferences is an unwise business practice that borders on unethical conduct,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said.  “We applaud New Jersey’s leadership in the investigation and negotiation with PointRoll, and we will continue to uphold Connecticut consumers’ right to choose.”

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

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