TECH NEWS – Intel’s website is practically wiretapping our browsers, which is why a class-action lawsuit is happening…
In February, Intel was accused of violating wiretapping laws, as its website used keystroke and mouse movement tracking, but now, the lawsuit has been moved up from Florida state court, to the federal district court of Orlando, and there are more claims that the multi-billion dollar company employs tracking software to monitor individuals use of the website.
The Register links to a court document PDF, and it outlines the lawsuit. According to it, Holly Londers (who brought the information to court) claims at least a dozen of her visits to the Intel site revealed potential „tracking, recording, and/or ‘session replay’ software” to „intercept use and interaction with the website.” No specific software was named in the documentation, but an attorney involved in the case claims the program in question is ClickTale.
Blacklight, a site that exposes tracking software on sites, claims that Intel’s page uses „a session recorder, which tracks user mouse movement, clicks, taps, scrolls, or even network activity.” No mention of keystroke logging, or how the session data is used.
Intel’s privacy statement isn’t clearing things up either: „Intel collects information as part of its business operations, to provide services, to respond to requests and offer customer support, to fulfill legal and contractual obligations and to build its innovative products. You provide some of this data directly, such as when you order an Intel product, contact customer support, or register for an Intel event or publication. We also collect information through your interaction with Intel® Services and our website, for example, using embedded product technologies and cookies. We also obtain data from third parties. We might also obtain information through a partner, or co-create datasets with a partner, as part of our business operations.” See? Nothing specific.
Gunes Acar, a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton CITP, said at a FTC PrivCon event in 2018 that „it’s the website’s responsibility—or maybe third party can have a an API or something—to inform the users that their mouse movements, or keypresses are being monitored.” He adds that „companies could be nudged to be more transparent, more upfront about what they collect, and the risks about this collection.”
It’s still awkward.