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Zillow, Lowe’s, Expedia Sued Over Use of Browser Tracking Tech

Sept. 8, 2022, 5:22 PM

Zillow Group Inc., Lowe’s Cos., and Expedia Group Inc. are facing nearly identical class suits under a Pennsylvania law alleging they illegally use “session replay” software to track and record consumers’ interactions with their websites.

Jamie Huber claims that the software allows the companies to record mouse movements, keystrokes, search terms, information inputted into the websites, and pages and content viewed during visits, all in violation of the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act.

That act prohibits the interception or disclosure of the contents of wire, electronic or oral communications. The class in each lawsuit contains at least 5,000 members, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The software also allows the companies to record and playback individual browsing sessions “as if someone is looking over a class members’ shoulder when visiting” their websites, and to view visitors’ interactions with the websites in real time, the complaint alleged.

Huber had the reasonable expectation that her visits would be private and that the companies wouldn’t be tracking, recording and watching as she browsed and interacted with the websites, the complaint said.

In addition, the companies neither asked for nor obtained consent before using the session replay software during her visits, it alleged.

Causes of Action: Violations of the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act.

Relief: Class certification, actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

Potential Class Size: Over 5,000 in each lawsuit, according to the complaints.

Response: Expedia and Zillow declined to comment on the filings. Lowe’s didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Attorneys: Marcus Zelman LLC represents Huber and the proposed class.

The cases are Huber v. Zillow Group Inc., E.D. Pa., No. 2:22-cv-03572, complaint 9/7/22, Huber v. Lowe’s Companies Inc., E.D. Pa., No. 2:22-cv-03571, 9/7/22, and Huber v. Expedia Group Inc., E.D. Pa., No. 2:22-cv-03570, complaint 9/7/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Brown in St. Louis at ChrisBrown@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com