A recently filed lawsuit alleges that GameStop secretly records, decrypts and transmits personal data of customer conversations with the support chat for marketing purposes. By doing this without the customer’s consent, GameStop violates several privacy laws in the United States.
In addition, as first reported by Bloomberg Law, GameStop allegedly violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), which prohibits the creation of transcripts based on website visitors without obtaining prior consent. Generally speaking, it is quite simple to comply with the law, since many websites will notify visitors about the possibility of any such records, but the GameStop website allegedly does not do this.
In addition, it seems that GameStop is accused of transferring these transcripts to a third party that collects personal data of online users “for marketing and other purposes.” The lawsuit says that Zendesk, a customer support service provider, intercepts and uses these secret transcripts rather than strictly providing the intended customer support. As reported, the lawsuit states that “given the nature of the Defendant’s business, website visitors usually share highly personal and confidential data with the Defendant when using the chat function on the website. Consumers would be shocked and appalled to learn that the Defendant is secretly creating transcripts of these conversations and sharing them with a third party.”
GameStop has not publicly commented on this lawsuit, and, at least at this stage, it is unlikely to do so. However, until something with this stuffing becomes clear, users can be careful when using the chat function on the GameStop website for security reasons. After all, combining such personal information is dangerous in many ways, since others, more malicious, can get this information, for example, in various ransomware attacks in the industry. GameStop supposedly uses it for marketing, but that in itself is dangerous if you look at how much information someone might inadvertently share about their buying habits in this chat.
Of course, while this continues to evolve, fans should know that this is not the last accusation made against GameStop. Recently, former GameStop employees revealed that they were encouraged to lie to customers, no matter what they did, in order to sell guarantees of any kind and membership in GameStop Pro. The point is to just make this sale. Now many retailers of all kinds “push” sales in various ways, for example, a gas station places discounted candy at the checkout, but outright lies are a completely different story. All in all, GameStop seems to have had a lot of ups and downs this year, but the outcome of this particular lawsuit remains to be seen.