YouPorn accused of digital snooping

Posted by STARR KESHET

Two angry Californians have filed a lawsuit against YouPorn for allegedly tracking their online behavior.

According to David Pitner and Jared Reagan, Midstream Media - which owns YouPorn - was involved in an "illegal and intrusive scheme" to collect personal data from site visitors.

"By embedding JavaScript code on its Web site designed to present [Pitner and Reagan's] Web browsers with a list of URL's, [YouPorn] was able to obtain from [their] Web history files whether [they] had visited a variety of different Web sites or not," the two claimed in court documents obtained and quoted by PC Magazine.

YouPorn accused of digital snooping

"This information was wrongfully and impermissibly obtained...[And] is [obviously] valuable research data which could have been sold to marketing firms. [Unfortunately], there is no indication that [YouPorn's] actions have halted or will halt in the foreseeable future."

Of course, as Kashmir Hill of Forbes notes, YouPorn is hardly alone in its controversial digital snooping habits. 


"Academic researchers found that a number of other investing, news, sports, and game websites were history-sniffing," writes Hill.

"Additionally, sites like Wired.com, PerezHilton, Technorati, and the HuffingtonPost use Javascript to look at what visitors do on their pages, including where they click, where their mouse moves, and what text they copy and paste, a practice not mentioned by Wired, for one, in its privacy policy."