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Judge Denies Blockbuster’s Bid to Arbitrate Facebook Suit

22 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A Dallas federal judge has ruled that a class-action lawsuit filed against Blockbuster Inc. regarding dissemination of user information on social networking site Facebook can continue.

The suit, filed by Cathryn Harris, alleges Blockbuster violated provisions of the Video Privacy Protection Act that prohibits disclosing information about an individual’s video rental activities.

The privacy act was enacted in 1988 after a newspaper disclosed the video rental habits of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, which lawmakers considered a politically motivated violation of privacy.

Harris claimed Blockbuster allowed Facebook to post her rental activity on her Facebook page without her permission.

Blockbuster Nov. 7, 2007, launched a movie rental search application on the popular social Web site.

Called Movie Clique, the platform allows users and Blockbuster subscribers to rent movies as well as create rental wish lists, already-seen lists and all-time favorites, without leaving Facebook.

Dallas-based Blockbuster had sought to move the case to arbitration.


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