MAC Cosmetics has reached a settlement in a lawsuit which accuses the beauty brand of obtaining customer zip codes to illegally obtain customer information.
Customers in Massachusetts that purchased MAC Cosmetic products from fall 2009 were said to have been asked for the zip codes when purchasing products with their debit cards. The company has been accused of then cross referencing the postcode with information in order to obtain the full address, in turn sending unsolicited direct mailers from MAC and other companies.
MAC has agreed to pay $365,000 in gift cards to end the class action, according to a filing in a Massachusetts court. Lauren Miller, the lead plaintiff who filed the claim in November 2013 has asked the court for preliminary approval of the settlement, stating that the deal represents a fair and timely resolution. She states, ““substantially achieves” her goal of remedying the allegedly unlawful actions of MAC and “protecting consumers’ rights to be free from intrusive corporate data collection and marketing.”
However, despite agreeing to the settlement to avoid further litigation, MAC has stated that it, “disputes the substance of these allegations and the legal theory upon which [Miller’s] causes of action rely.”
The company will issue gifts cards to approximately 86,000 members who gave their zip code and as a result received unwanted advertising. The gift cards will last for six months. Alongside the gift cards MAC has agreed to pay $107,000 in class attorney fees, while Miller will receive a further $2,500.
Miller has filed similar action against cosmetics brand Urban Decay and Free People.