An NFL.com subscriber has sued the football league for sharing his data with Meta, the parent company of Facebook. According to Illinois resident Israel James, the plaintiff in the case, NFL.com gathers user information using pixels and then shares the user data with Meta, even if the user has not consented to sharing data.
The NFL is one of several companies to face lawsuits for sharing data with Meta. Others include Warner Brothers, Discovery Inc., Huffington Post, and Bloomberg. Meta has been sued by regulators multiple times over the past decade for privacy and data-sharing issues.
Israel’s lawsuit seeks to represent hundreds of thousands of additional users in a class-action suit. In his suit, he says that NFL.com has a pixel embedded on its website. The pixel allegedly tracks when users enter the NFL.com app or its partner website and when they view videos. The complaint also says that NFL.com shares with Facebook what videos users have watched and even the user’s Facebook ID.
James said, “This occurs even when the digital subscriber has not shared (nor consented to share) such information.”
The suit was filed in Chicago federal court. James is seeking $2,500 in damages for himself and for each additional plaintiff added to the lawsuit. It goes on to claim that the NFL is violating the Video Privacy Protection Act, which bans companies from sharing subscriber data without first obtaining consent.
“Without telling its digital subscribers, defendant profits handsomely from its unauthorized disclosure of its digital subscribers’ Personal Viewing Information to Facebook,” James said in the complaint. “It does so at the expense of its digital subscribers’ privacy.”
Meta owns Facebook, Instagram, and a wide range of other social apps and technology companies. Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with nearly 2 billion daily users.
NFL.com is the official website and app of the National Football League. Subscribers can use the website to stream games, watch highlights, and view assorted football content. Millions of football fans use the website and app each day to follow the league and their favorite teams.