A company that has been harvesting data through numerous ‘free’ product websites, Gratis Internet, is being sued by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
Based in Washington DC, Gratis Internet operates numerous websites including FreeiPods.com, FreeCDs.com, FreeDVDs.com and FreeVideoGames.com
Spitzer is suing the company for allegedly violating consumer confidentiality agreements by selling millions of consumers' personal information to email marketers, according to a statement issued on Thursday by Spitzer's office.
Gratis told its users that it would not sell their personal information. However, in the past two years, Gratis owners Peter Martin and Robert Jewell sold some seven million consumers' email addresses and other personal information to email marketers. Those marketers used the information to distribute millions of email solicitations, according to the statement.
The suit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court, seeks penalties and injunctive relief against Gratis and its principals, under New York's consumer fraud statutes.
Thursday's legal action comes on the heels of Spitzer's settlement earlier this month with email marketer Datran Media, which had bought consumer information from Gratis, according to the statement.