Nov 052010
 November 5, 2010  Posted by  Business, Court, Featured News, Surveillance

Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News reports:

Ringleader Digital, an advertising company “hacked the mobile phones of millions of consumers” to create a database of customers’ demographic information for the benefit of major media networks such as Fox News and CNN, according to a federal class action.

Delaware-based Ringleader “stamped” a “Unique Device Identifier” into customers’ cell phones, compatible with iPhone, iPad, iTouch and PDAs and other devices, the complaint states.

Once entered into their phones, the class claims, say the code sent their private information to a database that Ringleader shared with AccuWeather, CNN, ESPN, FOX News, Go2 Media, Merriam-Webster, Travel Channel, and WhitePages, all of them named as defendants.

“Essentially, defendants hacked the mobile phones of millions of consumers … by embedding a tracking code in each user’s mobile device database to circumvent users’ browser controls for managing web privacy and security,” the complaint states.

The class claims the database collected information about “gender, age, race, number of children, education level, geographic location, and household income.”


The class seeks millions of dollars in punitive damages against Ringleader and its media partners for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, New York General Business Law, and trespass.

Read more on Courthouse News.

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