Actress Sues Amazon and IMDb Over Age

An unidentified 40-year-old actress is suing Amazon and IMDb for revealing her age publicly on the Internet. The actress filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming that her career and livelihood have been compromised. She is seeking $1 million in punitive damages.

IMDb is a searchable database that posts photos and lists the acting credits of virtually every actor, director and producer working in Hollywood. “Jane Doe” decided to subscribe to an “industry insider” version of the database called IMDbPro. Shortly after she signed up and typed in a credit card number to pay for the monthly subscriber fee, she noticed that her real age was posted and visible for the public — and presumably any casting agent or director — to see.

The suit alleges that the online websites must have matched data with public records to glean the personal data without her knowledge. “Jane Doe” asked the websites to remove her birthdate but they refused.

The suit alleges that IMDbPro “intercepts credit card information obtained during the subscription process for the purposes of gathering information about its subscribers” and further “both defendants are fully aware of the information-gathering, storing and usage process and have done nothing to stop the unlawful and wrong practices.”

Calling the practice “unfair, immoral and unscrupulous,” her Seattle-based lawyers are asking for a jury trial and $1 million in punitive damages. Amazon and IMDb belong to the same company and are both companies named in the lawsuit.

No one from the company has responded to our request for comment, although Amazon did tell KIRO-FM, the radio station that originally broke the story, that the company would not comment on pending litigation matters.

The privacy policy on IMDbPro’s website said that when it comes to posting personal data, “We receive and store any information you enter on our Web site or give us in any other way.” And, the privacy policy continues that the website reserves the right to gather records “like your name and age” when you register, answer quizzes or questionnaires. The actress could have a judge to order her birthdate removed, but the punitive damages is another thing.