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Quantcast Settles 'Zombie Cookie' Tracking Lawsuit

I reported in July about a class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Central California against online measurement firm Quantcast Corporation and several of its affiliates for using "zombie cookies" to track consumers' online activity and for violating several computer and consumer privacy laws. The other companies named in that lawsuit were Myspace Inc., American Broadcasting Companies Inc. ESPN Inc., Hulu LLc., JibJab Media, MTV Networks, NBC Universal Inc. and Scribd Inc..

Earlier this week, Wired magazine reported that:

"... Quantcast has agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it secretly used Adobe’s ubiquitous Flash plug-in to re-create tracking cookies after users deleted them... More than $1 million of the settlement will go to fund privacy groups chosen by the plaintiffs, and 25% will go to the lawyers who filed the suit. It’s unlikely that any money will go to the class, since it essentially includes every internet user in the U.S."

In a press release, Quantcast said this about the settlement:

"We chose to settle the litigation to bring clarity and certainty to our customers and to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation."

When you've been caught -- literally and figuratively -- with your hand in the cookie jar, I guess that there's not much to say after settling a lawsuit. Congratulations to those attorneys -- Joe Malley and others -- in this suit, as the tracking likely would have continued otherwise. Thanks for advocating for consumers' online privacy.


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