© 2021 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 91.3 Port Huron 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Criminal Justice & Legal System

$50 million settlement in magazine subscriber privacy case

magazines.jpg
Shutterstock
/
Hearst Communications agrees to $50 million settlement in privacy violation lawsuit

Magazine subscribers in Michigan have agreed to settle a privacy lawsuit against Hearst Communications.

The subscribers say Hearst sold their personal information to third-party data mining companies without their consent. The information was then combined with other data, like political donations and shopping behavior, and resold. 

The magazines include Cosmo, Oprah, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, Road and Track, Country Living, Elle, Food Network, Good Housekeeping, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook, and Seventeen, among others.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 when Michigan had the strictest consumer personal information privacy statute in the nation, with a penalty of $5,000 dollars per violation. The $50 million settlement is believed to be unprecedented in size. The statute has since been watered down.

Up to 2 million people in the state could be entitled to damages ranging from $25 to $150. The judge has not yet approved the settlement amount nor the settlement class.

Claim notices to people who may be part of the settlement class are expected to go out by mail in about six months.