Pruitt v. Comcast Cable Holdings
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
100 F. App’x 713 (2004)
Comcast Cable Holdings, LLC (Comcast) (defendant) issued converter boxes to each of its cable subscribers. The converter boxes served several functions, including storing a subscriber’s pay-per-view purchase information. Each box stored information for up to 64 separate pay-per-view purchases. After 64 purchases, information about a new purchase would be written over the oldest stored purchase. Each box also contained a series of numbers known as a unit address. Comcast could match the unit-address numbers to information in its billing system to identify which subscriber currently had a particular box. If a subscriber turned in a converter box, Comcast did not delete any of the information stored in the box before issuing the box to another subscriber. A group of former and current Comcast cable subscribers (the subscribers) (plaintiffs) sued Comcast, alleging that Comcast had violated the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (the act) by storing a subscriber’s personally identifiable information in the converter boxes and by storing it for longer than necessary. Specifically, the subscribers claimed that the unit address in a converter box could be used to identify a particular subscriber and that the stored pay-per-view information could then disclose that subscriber’s personal, private viewing habits. The district court found that the unit address in a converter box was not personally identifiable information and granted Comcast’s motion for summary judgment on the claims. The subscribers appealed to the Tenth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (O’Brien, J.)
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