Intel Sued for Illegally Monitoring User Activity
Intel has been accused in a class-action suit of illegally using session-replay software to intercept and log the activities of people who visited the company’s official website: inte.com
The lawsuit is taking place in Florida, under the state’s laws on wiretapping. According to the plaintiff, Intel has been using keystroke- and mouse movement-capturing software that monitors the visitors’ actions on the site’s pages. This lawsuit is only one of many similar instances of citizens accusing large companies of illegally implementing session-replay scripts within their official sites.
The plaintiff, Holly Londers, alleges that visitors to Intel’s website are having their interactions with the website traced and recorded without their knowledge or permission. According to the plaintiff, the information that gets logged on Intel’s site is mouse movement, mouse clicks, text input, visited pages, and viewed content.
The claim is that such monitoring activity is in violation of the Florida Security of Communications Act (2020), according to which it is against the law to intercept people’s electronic communications without them being aware of the interception and without them having knowingly given their consent to it.
Details of the Accusation
The plaintiff states that she has opened the defendant’s site on 12 different occasions throughout the past year (2020) and that during her visits to the site, the company intercepted the movements of her mouse, her keyboard keystrokes, and her other interactions with the site without her being informed about this recording activity and without Intel requesting her consent for it.
According to the plaintiff’s claim, such interception of her interaction with the defendant’s site is a privacy invasion and illegal private information exposure.
According to the allegation, other Florida residents have also been subjected to similar unlawful interception of their electronic communications and interactions with Intel’s website. For that reason, the class in this class-case encompasses all individuals who live in Florida, who have visited the company’s site, and whose activities on that site have been illegally monitored. The goal of the plaintiff with this case is to stop the illegal data collection (via injunctive relief).
The plaintiff has refused to reveal what software is believed to have been used for the illegal electronic communications interception but third-party researchers have reached the conclusion that it is probably Clicktale, currently owned by Contentsquare.
The purpose of this software is to provide companies with visualization of the users’ experience on their websites from the user’s point of view. The idea behind this software is supposedly to allow companies to make improvements to the site by learning more about how customers interact with its pages.
Thus far, Intel has refused to make any comments regarding whether the Clicktale software has been used to monitor user activity on the company’s site.
This is not the first case against a technology company unlawfully monitoring user activity on their sites so there is a legal precedent. However, none of the previous cases have resulted in a decision in favor of the plaintiff.
A similar case took place back in 2017, when Casper Sleep and Navistone Inc. was accused of similar transgressions. That case was dismissed the next year as the plaintiff failed to properly state their claim.
Currently, there are several other pending cases with similar claims against different companies, including Ray Ban, Fandango, Foot Locker, Banana Republic, Frontier Airlines, and more. All of them have been accused of illegally monitoring the communications of their users.