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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Moosejaw Named in Class Action Lawsuit for ‘Wiretapping’ Web Users

Moosejaw, along with fellow defendant NaviStone, is being sued for “wiretapping” computers of its website visitors. The class action lawsuit was brought by California plaintiff Jeremiah Revitch and authored by L. Timothy Fisher of law firm Bursor & Fisher. About this time last year, Bursor & Fisher authored a similar lawsuit on behalf of a plaintiff in New York.

California recently announced new privacy laws and the suit alleges Moosejaw and data broker NaviStone violated California privacy law when they “secretly embedded” computer code on Moosejaw.com “to de-anonymize and identify” people visiting the website.

These “wiretaps,” the plaintiff claims, “observe visitors’ keystrokes, mouse clicks and other electronic communications in real time” to gather personally identifying information on anonymous users and unveil their addresses, names and information on browsing habits, regardless of whether a purchase is made.

According to the complaint, NaviStone requests e-commerce partners such as Moosejaw add a line of code to their websites that creates a “back door” for the data broker to execute its own remote code that “functions as a wiretap” by allowing PII such as IP addresses be sent to NaviStone. The complaint also claims the code “scans the visitor’s computer for data files that could reveal the visitor’s identity.”

The code will “spy on the visitor as he or she browses the website” and redirect collected information to NaviStone. “This real-time interception and transmission of visitors’ electronic communications begins as soon as the visitor loads Moosejaw.com into their web browser,” according to the complaint. “NaviStone then uses this information to attempt to de-anonymize website visitors.”

The Moosejaw litigation isn’t Bursor & Fisher’s first foray into a privacy suit. The firm was appointed by Judge Richard Seeborg as interim class counsel in a nationwide class action against Facebook over the company’s alleged collection of user call and text history via apps without consent. The firm also represented plaintiffs in a suit against Hearst Communications, alleging the media company violated Michigan privacy law by selling subscriber information without consent.


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