GameStop accused of secretly recording and sharing data from customer live chats

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An image of a GameStop branch.

As reported by Bloomberg and Kotaku, a Californian lawsuit is alleging that American retailer GameStop has been covertly recording customer conversations without their consent.

The class action lawsuit, filed by Miguel A. Licea, also alleges that the company then shares this data with a third party which purportedly could utilise it for marketing purposes.

The accusations concern the customer support live chat service on GameStop’s website, www.gamestop.com.

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The weightiest accusation within these claims is that the alleged recording and sharing of the data is suggested to have occurred without the knowledge or approval of the customers concerned.

As Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett suggests, this allegation could have particular significance in Californian courts, due to the state’s Invasion of Privacy Act, which is designed to prohibit website operators from creating any transcripts including contributions from visiting users without first getting the express authorisation of all parties involved.

The act also forbids any sharing of such records with third parties, making it even more relevant to the lawsuit against GameStop’s claims.

In the filing, the lawyers on the Licea side of the case argue that the gaming retailer did not adhere to the act’s guidance by letting the customers know that their conversations with the live chat would be documented.

They also suggest that knowing that these alleged acts were taking place, if indeed they were, would likely cause distress for many of the customers who have used the live chat and possibly shared important information regarding whichever issues they were experiencing via it.

We’ve approached GameStop for comment on the situation and will update this article if they respond to our request or issue a public statement regarding the allegations of the lawsuit.

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