National Football League Team websites are invading your privacy and violating federal laws designed specifically to protect your privacy. The facts around this story are developing as confirmation for each Team site is checked by the site’s or team’s newsletter subscribers. If you would like to be alerted of updates, or check on whether your Team’s site is sharing your information:Get In Touch!
The Team websites collect your internet activity and bundle it with personally identifiable information obtained from Facebook. As if not bad enough, the Team sites then send the information back to Facebook. All of this is done without your permission. If you have information that your NFL Team website subscription has resulted in your data being shared with Facebook:Get In Touch!
To collect valuable marketing data, Facebook and many partnered websites utilize cookies, temporary files stored on your computer, in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel, to communicate your internet activity to Facebook along with a unique Facebook ID, which allows partnered websites to send your identity and your internet activities back to Facebook.
NFL Teams’ websites have utilized Facebook cookies and the Pixel to transmit data tracked on the Team website to Facebook. This data often includes personally identifiable information tied to your internet activity on the site.
Years before the Facebook Pixel existed, Congress recognized the harmful potential of sharing media consumption activities of specific individuals. In response to a particularly outrageous event involving Robert Bork, a Supreme Court nominee in 1987, Congress passed the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) in 1988. The VPPA prohibits subscription services from sharing video watching history tied with personally identifiable information.
Subscription services may still share your internet activity and data if they obtain informed, written consent from you, the user. However, the written consent is subject to strict and specific guidelines, which many websites fail to adhere to.
As a result, many websites neither inform users about their data sharing practices nor obtain written consent sufficient enough to exempt their practices from the VPPA. Many NFL Team websites fall into this category and, as a result, likely violate your privacy and federal law.
If you are a current or former subscriber to an NFL website or newsletter and would like to share any insight into this article or stay apprised of further information that we learn about or becomes available, let us know by clicking the “Get In Touch” button.