HP Class Action Lawsuit Claims Website use “Session Replay” Technology to Spy on Customers
  • A class action lawsuit filed against HP Inc. claims that the company’s “session replay” technology is spyware that allows the company to read, learn the contents of and make reports on consumers’ interactions on the HP website.

    HP website class action overview.
    Who: Emir Balanzar filed a class action lawsuit against HP Inc.
    What: The lawsuit alleges HP engaged in false and misleading advertising and violated privacy laws regarding “session replay” software.
    Where: The lawsuit was filed in California federal court.

    Emir Balanzar claims that HP’s use of the “session replay” software violates the U.S. Wiretap Act, which provides for statutory damages of up to $10,000 per day for each violation, as well as up to $5,000 for each violation according to the California Penal Code.

    Balanzar also claims HP falsely advertised how the software would be used and did not disclose its functionality to consumers, according to the HP class action.

    The lawsuit explains that unlike aggregate statistics provided by typical website analytics services, session replay is “intended to record and play back an individual browsing session, as if someone is looking over Plaintiff’s or a Class Member’s shoulder when visiting Defendant’s website.” It adds that companies that use this software can see interactions of visitors to their site in real time.

    The defendant advertised its session replay feature as a tool for website owners to improve the user experience by recording and analyzing website interactions, according to the HP website class action.

    HP failed to secure sensitive personal information, website class action claims
    The complaint also alleges that HP failed to secure this sensitive personal information, making it vulnerable to unauthorized access and misuse. As a result, Balanzar claims HP violated state consumer protection laws and engaged in false advertising by failing to disclose the full extent of its data collection and storage practices.

    The Federal Wiretap Act states that any person who “intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication” is in violation of the federal law. The HP website lawsuit cites similar language in the California law, which says any person who “reads, attempts to read or to learn the contents or meaning of any message, report or communication” without consent is in violation of the law.

    Balanzar seeks damages, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees on behalf of himself and the proposed class of similarly situated consumers.

    HP is not the only company facing legal action for using the “session replay” software. A consumer recently sued Bed, Bath & Beyond for the same reasons.
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