Last week, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ordered Amazon.com to turn over the names of everyone who purchased specific WEN hair products. WEN hair products are at the center of a class-action lawsuit alleging their use leads to different adverse effects, like hair loss. The judge ordered the disclosures so that lawyers in the class-action case can notify purchasers about a settlement. WEN agreed to settle the case by paying $25 to everyone who purchased the conditioner, and up to $20,000 to people who had a bad reaction to it.
Total Retail’s Take: Amazon promises its customers privacy protection, but this time, the e-commerce giant had no choice. Other retailers like QVC, Sephora and Overstock agreed to provide the court with customer information, but Amazon said complying with the order would violate the company's promise to keep customers' information private. Judge Robart believed the damages done to consumers outweighed Amazon’s protection initiatives and now the company must comply.