by Wendy Davis, Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:43 PM
In a new gambit to keep a privacy lawsuit in federal court, two Web users have withdrawn a host of claims against Wide Open West, which partnered with defunct behavioral targeting company NebuAd.
WOW subscribers Dan Valentine and W. Brand Bobosky, who filed new court papers on Wednesday, now allege only that the Internet service provider violated federal wiretap laws by working with NebuAd. They withdrew all of their other claims without prejudice -- meaning that they could potentially refile them in the future.
The move comes one month after U.S. District Court Judge Edmond Chang in the Northern District of Illinois granted WOW's request to send all claims to arbitration, except for those relating to federal wiretap law. Chang ruled that the ISP was entitled to enforce its terms of service, which require subscribers to take most disputes to arbitration. But the terms of service made an exception for potential violations of the federal wiretap law.
Valentine and Bobosky don't say in their latest proposed class-action complaint why they wish to proceed in federal court rather than arbitration. In general, however, consumers prefer bringing cases in court, largely because juries are seen as more likely than arbitrators to issue large damage awards.
Wide Open Web was one of six Internet service providers to test NebuAd's ad-serving platform in 2007 and 2008. The company, now defunct, worked with ISPs to gather data about Web users' activity in order to serve them targeted ads.
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