Cartoon Network Wins Case Against Privacy Violation Charges

Cartoon-NetworkHollywood television channel Cartoon Network has been cleared of all the charges placed against it recently after the court announced ruling in its favour. The entertainment channel was apparently accused of violating privacy under the Video Privacy Protection Act. According to the plaintiff that lodged the complaint, Cartoon Network’s mobile app was extracting personal data from the users phone and providing it to a third company.

Cartoon Network has designed its own mobile app to allow its viewers to enjoy shows like Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Pokemon and Transformers among others on a subscription basis. And according to the complaint lodged, CN was allegedly tracking the mobile devices that have these apps installed. They were accused of keeping a track of videos watched by the user and sharing this information with a third party without the knowledge of the user.

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However, the court has now given its verdict, clearing CN of all charges on the basis that the VPPA defines a consumer as ‘any renter, purchaser, or subscriber’. And the complainant was none of these as he had not purchased any subscription, or paid any rental fee to use the channel’s application. Thus, the complaint does not fall under the Video Privacy Protection Act and Cartoon Network cannot be charged for the same.

The statement made by the judges concluded that in their view, downloading an app for free and using it to view content at no cost is not enough to make a user of the app a ‘subscriber’ under the VPPA, as there is no ongoing commitment or relationship between the user and the entity which owns and operates the app. And most importantly, such a user is free to delete the app (of Cartoon Network) without consequences whenever he likes and never access its content again.

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