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California lawsuit accuses GameStop of wiretapping, sharing customer data

Filed in California, a new class action lawsuit alleges that GameStop has been recording customer support conversations without consent and selling conversations to a third party.

A new class action lawsuit in California has been filed against GameStop, accusing the retailer of recording customer support conversations without customer consent. First reported by Bloomberg, the lawsuit also alleges that GameStop has been sharing the transcripts of those conversations with a third party. 

Filed by plaintiff Miguel Licea in a federal suit, his lawyers wrote that by using the chat feature on its website, GameStop "covertly wiretaps the communications of all visitors...and shares the secret transcripts of those wiretaps with a third party that boasts of its ability to harvest personal data from the transcripts for marketing and other purposes."

That third party is said to be the customer support platform Zendesk. Licea's lawsuit alleged that the platform "publicly boasts about its ability to harvest highly personal data from chat transcripts for sales and marketing purposes."

Recording conversations without consent violates California's Invasion of Privacy Act, or CIPA. Per the act, websites can't make transcripts of conversations, or give those transcripts to a third party, without the explicit consent of all previous parties involved. Most companies, acknowledged Licea, comply just by telling visitors that conversations are being recorded.

"Consumers would be shocked and appalled to know that Defendant secretly creates transcripts of those conversations and shares them with [Zendesk]," continued the lawsuit. 

At time of writing, GameStop has yet to issue a statement regarding Licea's lawsuit.

This marks the second lawsuit of the year for GameStop. In May, the retailer was sued by former New York employee Trevon Mack for labor violations. Mack argued that under New York law, employees should be paid weekly rather than bi-weekly.

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