I’m not overly familiar with the popular porn spots around the Internetz, but I understand that a good number of people are big fans of the homegrown selections that can be found on YouPorn – essentially YouTube for naked, lascivious types. The site is currently the 72nd most popular site on the Web, according to people who rank that stuff.
Everyone’s turned on by different kinds of things. If you’re a YouPorn visitor, I hope you’re into being “sniffed.”
YouPorn wanted to know what other porn sites its visitors had been unfaithful with, so it sniffed their browsers for a list of 22 other sexxxy sites. Looks like I’ve helped cause my first class action lawsuit. On Friday, two California men, miffed about getting sniffed, filed a complaint alleging cybercrime and violation of consumer law protections. They’re seeking class action status.
Any other classy YouPorn watchers want to hop on this one?
Internet privacy violations can be big money, after all. Online tracking firm Quantcast just announced that it will pay $2.4 million to kill a class action suit over invading Web surfers’ privacy through planting “zombie” flash cookies on their computer to track their browsing activity.
David Pitner and Jared Reagan of Newport Beach are hoping their porn habit will pay out similarly. They filed their complaint [PDF] Friday in the Central District of California against Netherlands-based Midstream Media, the innocuous-sounding company behind YouPorn, YouPorn Gay, and YouPorn Cocks. (Good news: It sounds like there’s no “YouPorn Lawyers” yet. There’s a red-hot Internet business opportunity for some UNC Law grad.)
Great, so now I have to clear my browser history before and after visiting porn sites?
This is almost becoming too much of a hassle. …Almost.
It’s unclear why YouPorn wanted to know this about its visitors – they did not respond to a media request. Pitner and Reagan accuse YouPorn and its sister sites of “impermissibly accessing [users'] browsing history.” In addition to allegedly breaking California computer and consumer protection laws, the history sniffing “violat[ed] Plaintiffs’ privacy interests,” according to the complaint. They seek unspecified monetary damages. Perhaps they’ll add a request to have their pain and suffering relieved by their favorite YouPorn star in an amended complaint.
The complaint does not go into detail about how often Pitner and Reagan visit YouPorn. Perhaps a greater blow to their personal privacy than YouPorn invading their browser history is the suit establishing them as the flag bearers for the right to pleasure themselves with sniff-less porn.
Memo to lawyer in this case: This would have seemed like as good a time as ever to go the “Johnson Doe” route with your plaintiffs.
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over YouPorn History Sniffing [Forbes]
History Sniffing: How YouPorn Checks What Other Porn Sites You’ve Visited and Ad Networks Test The Quality of Their Data [Forbes]
Pitner and Reagan vs. Midstream Media International [Scribd]
Kashmir Hill is an editor emeritus at Above the Law. She’s now at Forbes writing about privacy, and the lack thereof, in the digital age.