Gannett pays for serving unwanted cookies


GannettAttorneys general from six states have entered into a settlement with PointRoll Inc., a digital ad service owned by Gannett, for circumventing cookie blockers for just over two months in late 2011 and early 2012.

The action was led by New Jersey and was joined by New York, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland and Illinois.

The settlement will cost the company $750,000.

New York AG Eric T. Schneiderman’s staff described the infraction, stating, “PointRoll is a digital ad and technical services company owned by the Gannett Company. New York and five other states allege that PointRoll unlawfully deployed a browser circumvention technique that allowed it to place browser cookies on consumers’ Safari Web browsers despite privacy settings configured to block cookies from third-parties and advertisers between December 13, 2011 and February 15, 2012.”

The company was put under a number of conditions as well, including the promise to make no further effort to circumvent consumer privacy settings in the future.

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s another infraction from which broadcasters are immune.

The closest a broadcast station gets to invading somebody’s privacy is when they wander into a commercial establishment of some type and a television or radio is on.

Broadcasters: Honoring consumer privacy since Marconi!