Intuit slapped with privacy violation suit

Personal finance software vendor Intuit was sued last Wednesday by a user of the company's Web site. The user, Joseph Rubin, contends his personal information was released to advertisers.

The lawsuit was filed against Intuit in federal court in New York. It asks for unspecified damages from the software vendor and a ruling from the court ordering the purging of all personal information gathered or shared as a result of Intuit's alleged wrongdoing, according to published reports. provides consumers with a number of financial services, including the ability to track and pay bills, and prepare and pay income taxes.

Intuit spokeswoman Mary Giani said the company believes Rubin's lawsuit is without merit.

"(What happened) was an unintentional consequence of using industry-standard technology, HTML," she said.

Rubin couldn't be reached for comment.

According to Giani, a design flaw in some e-commerce Internet sites allows users' personal data to be attached to Web page location codes used by third-party Internet advertising firms like DoubleClick.

In Intuit's case, two features on its Web site - the mortgage calculator and credit assessment - collected personal information from consumers including their income and assets and debts and then sent that information to DoubleClick.

When Intuit was alerted to what was happening earlier this month, Giani said the company immediately moved to stop the practice.

"Intuit pulled all DoubleClick ads from immediately that were believed to be in an infected area," she said. "(Intuit) is scrubbing the site to investigate and determine the scope of the problem. Intuit is a company with a long-standing history and a company that takes privacy issues very seriously."

DoubleClick's new privacy officer, Jules Polonetsky, declined to comment on the matter.

Last April, Rubin and two other plaintiffs filed a class action suit against Intuit in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Calif., charging the company with a number of consumer violations, including unlawful and fraudulent business practices, false and misleading advertising and violations of the California civil code in connection with the marketing and sales of Quicken.

The complaints were all dismissed.

Giani said Intuit believes Rubin's current complaint will also be dismissed.

Computerworld reporter Christine McGeever contributed to this report.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?