Advertisers Ask Court To Dismiss 'Browser Sniffing' Case

CBS, Microsoft, Mazda and McDonald's have asked a New York court to dismiss a lawsuit alleging illegal "browser sniffing" brought against them earlier this year by New York resident Sonal Bose. But so far all the court has done is combine their case with a separate suit that Bose brought against Internet ad agency Interclick, which served ads on behalf of the companies.

In her original lawsuits, filed at around the beginning of the year, Bose charged that the agency and its clients, by using technology that tracked the Web browsing activities of consumers, violated federal computer fraud and wiretapping laws, as well as other statutes.

In their filing, advertisers basically responded that it was Interclick that engaged in the activities, not them, and that Bose did not provide evidence that the practices she cites, including the use of so-called flash cookies to track browsing activity, were implemented on her computers.

Bose lacks standing to sue them, the four companies said, because she did not "allege any fact connecting her to any of the four defendants." They added that Bose has not contended that Interclick served her specifically with any ads promoting their products.



In Bose's latest response, filed last month, she said the four advertisers were culpable because, while Interclick may do the physical serving of the ads, the clients worked closely with the shop to develop their campaigns.

"Interclick and the defendants worked together in planning, executing and monitoring the success of defendants' respective online advertising campaigns," she said in her brief.

"Interclick makes a particular point of touting its competitive advantage in the degree of control it provides clients, the real-time reporting and campaign adjustment from which its clients can expect to benefit, and the degree of consumer profile based customization clients can expect based on Interclicks substantial data of warehouse resources."

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