Visitors Seek To Revive Privacy Case Against Google And Viacom

Representatives for a group of young children are appealing a judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Google and Viacom of violating a federal video privacy law.

The notice of appeal, which was filed this week with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, doesn't offer details about the potential arguments the children's lawyers will raise.

But attorneys for the children obviously hope to convince an appellate court to revive the lawsuit, which centers on allegations that Viacom allows Google to set tracking cookies on the kids' site

Those cookies allegedly revealed users' screen names and the videos they watched, among other information. Class counsel argued that Viacom and Google's alleged use of cookies violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits movie rental businesses from disclosing users' personally identifiable information.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler in New Jersey dismissed the lawsuit last month. He specifically rejected the argument that data stored in cookies is personally identifiable, ruling that cookie-based data can't independently tie an “actual person” to the videos he or she watched.

Chesler also rejected the theory that Google was able to identify the plaintiffs -- all under the age of 13 -- by combining cookie-based data with registration information.

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