Hemp Today Report: Lawsuit alleges Charlotte’s Web eavesdropped on website users

Remember they dim distant days when Charlotte’s Web were the shining light of cannabis. Are they going to end up in the MedMen basket(case)?

Hemp Today

CBD retailing giant Charlotte’s Web Inc. failed to warn visitors to its website that conversations on its chat feature were being tracked, in violation of California law, a proposed class action lawsuit alleges.

The complaint accuses the company of violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act, which “prohibits both wiretapping and eavesdropping of electronic communications without the consent of all parties to the communication.”

Compliance with the law “is simple, and the vast majority of website operators comply by conspicuously warning visitors if their conversations are being recorded or if third parties are eavesdropping on them,” according to the lawsuit.


The complaint alleges visitors’ conversations on the site’s chat feature were tracked and stored by Ochatbot, a contractor that helped the company facilitate “invasive eavesdropping.” Ochatbot is an AI platform that offers chat applications in support of sales, marketing, and customer service.

“Ochatbot records and stores transcripts of each chat conversation, which it will compile into a report that is used by Ochatbot and defendant to evaluate the performance of both companies,” the suit says. “Ochatbot gathers the transcripts from live chat histories using AI and machine learning that enables Ochatbot to understand and analyze real-time ‘conversational inputs.’”

The lawsuit alleges Ochatbot’s privacy policy, which explicitly allows for the sharing and selling of all data it collects, was not disclosed to visitors to the CW website, many of whom disclose sensitive personal data while engaging in chats. A code that drives the chatbot was “surreptitiously implanted,” and is evidence of deception, the plaintiffs claim.

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