A class action lawsuit accuses National Geographic of disclosing magazine subscribers’ personal information without their consent.
Plaintiff Mark Markham of Michigan says he is a current subscriber to the National Geographic magazine and he purchased his subscription directly from National Geographic.
However, Markham claims that his personal reading information was given to third parties, and as a result, he was sent significant amounts of junk mail from other companies.
The National Geographic class action alleges that the magazine makes a practice of disclosing information of its customers including their age, ethnicity, gender, income, parental status, religion and political views.
Markham says that he and many other consumers were injured by the disclosure of their personal information, and he claims that their privacy was violated by this action.
The National Geographic class action states that prior to and at the time that he subscribed to the magazine, the company did not notify him that it discloses the personal reading information of its customers.
Markham also claims that he wasn’t provided with any written notice that National Geographic makes a practice of renting, exchanging, or otherwise disclosing personal reading information to third parties, and provides no means of opting out.
However, the National Geographic information disclosure class action lawsuit says that since subscribing to National Geographic and between Mach 26, 2016 andJuly 30, 2016, National Geographic disclosed Markham’s personal reading information to data aggregators, data appenders, and/or data cooperatives.
Allegedly, these third parties then supplemented Markham’s reading information provided by National Geographic with their own field.
The National Geographic reading information class action lawsuit says that National Geographic also rented or exchanged mailing lists containing Markham’s info to third parties who wished to contact National Geographic subscribers.
Allegedly, this was done without receiving Markham’s written consent or without giving him prior notice of this sharing of information.
The National Geographic class action lawsuit states that because his information was disclosed, Markham now receives junk mail from charities and other organizations. Markham says that these mailings waste his time, money, and resources.
Markham says that he is legally entitled to his privacy, and his privacy was violated by National Geographic.
He also says that because he paid money for his National Geographic subscription, National Geographic deprived him of the “full set of benefits to which he was entitled as part of his National Geographic subscription,” which he says was a subscription in which is information would not be given way, thereby causing him harm.
Allegedly, had he known that his information would be sold and he would receive junk mail as a result, he would not have been willing to pay as much, if at all, for his National Geographic subscription.
Markham is represented by Joseph I. Marchese and Philip L. Fraietta of Bursor & Fisher PA, and by Frank S. Hedin of Hedin Hall LLP.
The National Geographic Information Disclosure Class Action Lawsuit is Mark Markham v. National Geographic Partners LLC, Case No. 1:19-cv-00232-JTN-ESC, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
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