Comics / Digital Comics

Marvel.com Users’ Privacy Problematic


By Hervé St-Louis
September 4, 2008 - 18:30

Runaways_01_Cover.jpg
To promote its new Runaways series, Marvel Comics, through Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited is allowing comic book readers to view the first issue of the series through its Web comics portal for free. Releasing comic books as promotional items has become part of the publisher’s marketing strategy. Yet, there continues to be serious privacy concerns surrounded with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and the publisher has refused to accord an interview to The Comic Book Bin to shed some light on their practices.

On June 12 , 2008, The Comic Book Bin had reported about lacking information about what exactly is Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited’s policy on the data it gathers from visitors who register to its Web site. Marvel.com offers a unique account for all its services to enthusiasts who register with it and use its online services. Some of those services interact with third party Web sites, such as Facebook. Some services are related to the message board and wiki functions of Marvel.com. Other services are related to the online subscriptions through Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

It is unclear if Marvel Entertainment keeps all this information in one giant account per user and if it sells that information to third parties or specifically targets users with advertising based on their metrics, such as their age, where they live or their gender. I assume that most of the Marvel.com services also gathers similar information for users of most countries which would put the company at odds with Canadian privacy legislation which forbids companies to concentrate such information about their users or treat the private information of its users as its own property.

In the spirit of the Canadian law, users’ information is theirs, not companies. That Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited refuses to answer serious questions asked by a press representative is a serious concern. Do they have anything to hide? What exactly does Marvel.com and all units of the company do with all the information they gather on their Web site? Is part of that data corroborated with third party Web sites, like Facebook or other advertisers without the explicit consent of users that have registered with its services?

I’m already registered with Marvel.com to their message board services. I don’t use any other services from the company and in light of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited’s refusal to answer some questions about their privacy practices, I would not recommend anyone who cares about their privacy and what the publisher does with their information to use any of the services found at Marvel.com. It’s time for Marvel Entertainment to act like any other large media corporation of its size does and be frank about its practices. If they are doing nothing wrong, then the public has a right to know.


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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