Commentary

Kanye West Sued For Tricking Fans Into Disclosing Data

When Kanye West released "The Life of Pablo," the singer vowed that the album "will never never never" be on Apple, and "will never be on sale."

"You can only get it on Tidal," he added in a tweet dated Feb. 15. Tidal, the Jay-Z owned streaming music service, charges subscribers $9.99 a month after a free trial period.

Apparently, West had a change of heart. By this month, the album was also available on other services, including Spotify, Apple and Pandora.

Now one fan who signed up for Tidal, Justin Baker-Rhett, has filed a potential class-action lawsuit against West and Tidal. Baker-Rhett alleges that he was duped into joining the service -- which involved turning over a host of personal information, ranging from email addresses to links to social media accounts to credit card data.

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"By the time Mr. West changed course and broadly released The Life of Pablo, the deceptive marketing ploy had served its purpose," Baker-Rhett says in the complaint. "Tidal’s subscriber numbers had tripled, streaming numbers were through the roof, and Tidal had collected the personal information, credit card numbers, and social media information of millions of deceived consumers,"

He adds that if he had known the album would appear on other platforms -- including Spotify, where he already had an account -- he wouldn't have joined Tidal.

Baker-Rhett contends that Tidal violated California laws regarding false advertising and unfair competition. He's seeking monetary damages, as well as orders requiring Tidal to destroy all information about people who subscribed between Feb. 15 and April 1, and streamed any tracks from "The Life of Pablo" within 24 hours of joining.

Baker-Rhett is represented by Jay Edelson, who has brought privacy lawsuits against Web companies including Netflix, comScore, Facebook and Twitter.

Those cases have met with a variety of results. Netflix agreed to pay $9 million and to stop linking former subscribers' names with their movie-viewing history, in order to settle allegations that it violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Law by storing data after people canceled their accounts.

ComScore agreed to a $14 million settlement to resolve claims that violated panel members' privacy by collecting a trove of data about them.

But Facebook is contesting allegations that it violated an Illinois biometric privacy law by compiling a database of "faceprints."

And Texas resident Wilford Raney, also represented by Edelson, recently dropped a lawsuit accusing the company of eavesdropping on private messages that users send each other through the platform.

1 comment about "Kanye West Sued For Tricking Fans Into Disclosing Data".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, April 19, 2016 at 5:27 p.m.

    If "mental incapacity" is a valid defense in civil suits, then West is definitely safe.

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