Pandora Radio is now facing a privacy lawsuit over the online exposure of Michigan Pandora users listening history. The Pandora lawsuit was filed in California (because Pandora is registered there), and claims that Pandora violated the privacy of Michigan users when they allowed access to their profile pages, and thus information about their listening habits.
This is part of the new Facebook integration that's defining privacy issues in 2011 by the minute. Pandora users that use Facebook Connect to login to Pandora have had some of their private data exposed, and this could be a violation of the "Video Rental Protection Act" that happened in 1988. This had to do with video rental history back then, but the lawsuit is claiming that it has relevance to Pandora Radio and Facebook today. Although this lawsuit has been filed based on Pandora users in Michigan, all Pandora users information appear to have been exposed, meaning that they weren't just visible to your Facebook friends, but to anyone on the Internet.
The Pandora lawsuit is asking for penalties of $5000 for each of the Pandora subscribers in Michigan, plus an additional $5000 for those same subscribers if their accounts were merged with Facebook. If the Pandora lawsuit moves forward, a settlement is likely to avoid messy negative publicity.
The Pandora Radio redesign just launched at the end of last month, just before the big Facebook Music launch.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.
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