Customers Sue Walmart Over Alleged Online Data Breach

According to documents filed with the Californian Superior Court, Walmart is in hot water after customers accused the retailer of disclosing personal details, including Facebook account details and purchase information.

Alicia Cappelllo and Catherine Mosqueda allege Walmart shared private Facebook account information, as well as details surrounding their purchase of video content from Walmart’s online store. The two consumers have reportedly filed a class action suit, citing violations to the US and Californian codes pertaining to privacy around purchasing video materials.

According to the complaint, Walmart supplied the customers’ data to Facebook using “an advertising tool called Facebook pixel on its retail website”.

When queried about the complaint, Walmart representatives reportedly said the company was investigating the matter and would respond as appropriate in court.

Facebook Pixel is commonly used by businesses as an advertising and analytics tool. The application leverages the cookies stored in internet browsers, which Facebook claims is used to distinguish between website visitors.

It’s believed the plaintiffs of this case could take advantage of strict regulations in the US, surrounding the inappropriate use of their data, especially since the state and federal laws governing video purchases are more stringent than those for other online purchases.

Customer privacy is becoming a big talking point in Australia and around the globe, as consumers start speaking out against how their personal data is being used by businesses.

For example, Australian shoppers are becoming especially wary of online payment and data security, with a fifth of Aussie consumers citing online payment and data security as one of their biggest barriers to shopping online.

These concerns are also echoed in other markets, like Hong Kong, where new research by Rakuten Marketing says a fifth of consumers are wary about online security. Malaysians are also hesitant to purchase goods online, with 18 percent expressing concerns over the lack of privacy online shopping provides.

According to Rakuten’s Senior Manager of Marketing in APAC, Rhiannon Farrar, these concerns need to be addressed on a global scale if brands want to retain consumer confidence.

“Like Australia, other APAC markets are struggling with online security, which is something that should be prioritised to ensure it doesn’t hinder further growth of e-commerce.”

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