Golf Fans Tee Off: Accuse Masters Tournament of Sharing Viewing Data with Facebook

playing golf tournament

The Masters Golf Tournament Faces A Class Action Lawsuit For Allegedly Sharing Subscriber Data With Facebook, Violating Privacy Laws.

The prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, home to the world-famous Masters Tournament, is facing a class action lawsuit over allegations of privacy violations. Plaintiffs claim the Club shared online viewers' information with Meta (formerly Facebook) without their consent.

Plaintiffs Adam Labernik and Shane Doyle filed the proposed class action lawsuit against Augusta National, Inc. on April 22 in a New York federal court, alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).

Labernik and Doyle allege that their personal information, along with that of other viewers, was shared with Meta after visiting the Masters' website, This website allows users to access video content related to the tournament, including interviews and pre-recorded clips.

Meta pixel at the center of data sharing allegations

The federal VPPA is designed to safeguard consumers' viewing preferences from unauthorized disclosure. 

However, when the plaintiffs visited the website and signed up for accounts or to receive the newsletter, they say Augusta National shared their private information with third-parties on the internet without their consent through a piece of code known as the “Meta Pixel.”

According to the lawsuit, the Pixel tracks user activity on web pages by monitoring online actions which, when triggered, causes the Pixel to automatically send data directly to Facebook

“Defendant does not disclose on the website that subscribers’ personally identifying information would be captured by the Meta Pixel... and then shared with Meta, thereby exposing the [information] to any person of ordinary technical skill who received that data,” they state.

This data sharing, the lawsuit states, was aimed at enhancing targeted advertising on its website, thereby boosting its advertising revenue illicitly.

Consumers tee up for privacy protections

With the lines between entertainment, technology, and privacy increasingly blurred, consumers are calling out digital content providers for how they handle personal information in the era of targeted advertising.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the entity behind, is also facing a class action lawsuit alleging that it violated privacy laws by sharing subscribers' personal viewing information with Facebook without the consent of its viewers.

AMC+ recently settled a privacy violations lawsuit for $8.3 million to resolve claims it violated federal privacy laws by tracking users on its website and sharing that information with third parties.

Similarly, a class action lawsuit against Eyemart Express claims that the company employs a tracking tool developed by Meta (formerly Facebook), to gather information about users' activities, including personal health information, on the Eyemart website without their consent.

Labernik and Doyle's legal action against Augusta National extends beyond accusations of privacy violations; they also seek an end to the alleged practice and financial compensation.

The legal action seeks to halt Augusta National’s practice of sharing personal viewing data without consent and to secure damages of at least $2,500 per class member, and injunctive relief.

The plaintiff and the proposed class are represented by Mark Reich at Levi & Korsinsky. 

The Masters Facebook pixel tracking class action lawsuit is Doyle v. Augusta National Inc., Case No. 1:24-cv-03058-JHR in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.



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