TechRadar Accused of Spying on Users Without Consent

TechRadar sued for spying. Class action lawsuit alleges website secretly tracks users.

The Online Publication Has Been Hit With A Lawsuit Alleging They Invade Users’ Privacy

As a website dedicated to technology, you'd expect to be upfront about the tech it uses on its readers. But a new class action lawsuit accuses the publication of the opposite: secretly deploying "pen registers" to collect user data without permission.

The company has been hit with legal action accusing it of using three trackers to collect users IP addresses, tracking their routing, addressing and signaling information, which it then uses for marketing and analytics purposes - essentially to make a profit. The trackers, the lawsuit alleges, operate as “pen registers” which are restricted by privacy laws.

California lawsuit claims TechRadar spied on visitors' IP addresses

Digvijay Motiani, a resident of Santa Clara, California, has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Future US LLC, the owner and operator of The complaint alleges TechRadar uses three hidden trackers – TripleLift, GumGum, and Audiencerate – to capture visitors' IP addresses, essentially recording their online movements for marketing and analytics purposes.

Motiani argues this collection is done "surreptitiously" and without consent, violating California's Invasion of Privacy Act. The lawsuit compares these trackers to "pen registers" – tools historically used by law enforcement to monitor phone lines, now allegedly adapted for online tracking.

What are "pen registers" and "trap and trace" devices?

The lawsuit defines "pen registers" and "trap and trace" devices, which are tools historically used by law enforcement with court orders to monitor phone lines.

  • A pen register records outgoing information like email addresses and subject lines.
  • A trap and trace device captures incoming information on the same lines.

Motiani argues that TechRadar's trackers function similarly by capturing user data without legal authorization. These trackers can potentially record the email address someone sends an email from, the recipient's address, and the subject line, just like a pen register or trap and trace device would on a phone line.

California Invasion of Privacy Act protects user data

The California Invasion of Privacy Act, enacted in the 1960s, safeguards Californians' privacy rights. While predating the internet, recent court rulings have seen CIPA applied to online user tracking. Under CIPA, tools like "pen registers" can only be used with court orders.

The lawsuit quotes the CIPA legislature's concern about "new devices and techniques for the purpose of eavesdropping," arguing that the law applies to new technologies like website trackers.

TechRadar joins growing list of companies facing CIPA lawsuits

Motiani's lawsuit isn't an isolated incident. As Bloomberg Law reports, in just five months, more than 50 class actions have been filed under CIPA, accusing companies of illegal user tracking using “pen register” technology.

Companies hit with legal action include Meta Platforms Inc., Google Inc., CNN, Anine Bing Corp., Stitch Fix Inc., Primer Labs Inc., mobile app analytics company Kochava, DocuSign,, and many more. 

CIPA allows for damages of $5,000 per violation, which Motiani seeks alongside interest, restitution, and legal fees.

The plaintiff and proposed class are represented by Yitzchak Kopel, Alec M. Leslie, and Max S. Roberts of Bursor & Fisher, P.A. 

The user tracking proposed class action lawsuit is Motiani v. Future US LLC, Case No. 1:24-cv-02931-ALC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.



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