Class action filed over online advertising to smart phones

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 12, 2010, 4:00am

MARSHALL-A recently filed class action claims a corporation is violating several laws by extending online advertising to the mobile environments of smart phones and other mobile, hand-held digital cellular devices.

Arlando Cooks, Kenneth Harrison and Charmaine Smith, on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated, filed suit against Ringleader Digital Inc. (RDI) on Nov. 5 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

RDI advertises itself as a tool for agencies and publishers to run targeted and measurable campaigns. The defendant offers its customers a database compilation of each individual's private and personally identifiable information that it possess and maintains on its Internet accessible services, which is referred to as "third-party ad serving platform in mobile."

The defendant's technology works by identifying each of the plaintiffs' Internet Protocol addresses, which is unique to each smart phone, and internally, designates the smart phone with its own number.

The lawsuit states that RDI obtains this information by using a secret, unauthorized and unlawful trespass to obtain confidential data and personally identifiable information.

The defendant is accused of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and for invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion, trespass to chattels and misappropriation, conversion, unjust enrichment and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The proposed class action will include every individual who owns or has owned a mobile device that had a "RLDGUID" tracking number, media stamp or other identifying tag or mark placed on that device by the defendant through the use of any feature of a web browser.

The lawsuit is seeking the imposition of a constructive trust as a consequence of the unjust enrichment to the RDI, treble and punitive damages and permanent injunctive relief preventing the defendant from gaining access to the class members' cellular phones.

The plaintiffs are represented by Thom M. Corea and Jessica Sharma Graham of The Corea Firm in Dallas, J. Mark Mann of the The Mann Firm in Henderson and George A. Ottstott and Ann Jamison of the Otstott & Jamison in Dallas.

Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-00464

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