​​Amazon Asks for Dismissal of Prime Video Watch History Class Action

A dismissal motion filed late last week by Amazon asserts that a complaint filed under two states’ video privacy laws is misguided because it is not illegal for Amazon’s Prime Video, a service that allows customers to rent streaming video content, to retain customers’ viewing histories. The company requests dismissal with prejudice.

Two consumers from New York and Minnesota filed suit in September. As previously reported, they allege that Amazon is obligated to destroy customers’ video records pursuant to New York’s Video Consumer Protection Act and Minnesota’s Videotape Law. Yet Amazon retains customers’ name, credit card information, billing address, and video rental history for an indefinite period of time without consent, the complaint says.

In its dismissal bid, Amazon counters that the laws do not impose the destruction obligations the plaintiffs suggest. “These statutes, instead, are directed primarily to limiting the circumstances under which a ‘video tape service provider’ (a defined term) like Amazon may disclose its customers’ rental history information to third parties.”

Amazon further argues that the plaintiffs rely on “blue-penciling” the statute to read that “video tape service providers” shall destroy personally identifiable information when it actually says that a “person” shall do so. “Plaintiffs cannot create a cause of action with statutory language that does not exist,” the motion ventures.

In addition, Amazon contends that the plaintiffs neither have statutory rights of action nor standing to bring the asserted claims. The supposed harm, that the plaintiffs “looked up their own rental histories in their Amazon accounts and were reminded of videos they once rented,” is not legally cognizable injury, Amazon says, calling it “a trivial occurrence.”

Oral argument is requested for the January 19 dismissal hearing. 

The plaintiffs and putative class are represented by Carson Noel PLLC and Bursor & Fisher P.A. Amazon is represented by Perkins Coie LLP.