IMDb Sued for Age Disclosure

An unidentified actress has sued Amazon because IMDb, the motion picture industry database owned by Amazon, revealed the actress’s birth date, showing that she is over 40 years old.  The actress–“a Texas resident of Asian descent”–created the profile without her birth date in IMDb Pro, a service created for industry professionals.  According to the lawsuit she filed in federal court in Seattle IMDb used other personal information she provided “to uncover her date of birth” and add it to her profile, “revealing to the public that Plaintiff is many years older than she looks.” Amazon says it obtained the actress’s age from her agent.  The actress denies this assertion.

The article doesn’t specify the specific claim the lawsuit asserts.  The facts don’t support a claim for public disclosure of private facts–her age would likely be considered newsworthy. It appears her claim is that IMDb violated its terms of service by using her personal information for purposes she did not authorize, but the article doesn’t point to any specific TOS provision that addresses the site’s use of personal information.

8 thoughts on “IMDb Sued for Age Disclosure”

  1. Is this allowed? I wonder what the ruling will be. If its factual, why can’t it be published without authorization? Hmm….

  2. http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/10/27/sag-aftra-imdb-age-discrimination/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+entertainmentweekly%2Fmovie-critics+%28Entertainment+Weekly%2FEW.com%27s%3A+The+Movie+Critics%29

    “The Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA issued a press release Thursday, denouncing IMDb and its owner Amazon.com for IMDb’s practice of revealing the ages of performers without their consent. The organizations claim the practice has led to shrinking work options and age-discrimination for actors.”

    It is interesting they are going the “age-discrimination” route, since they are probably aware the actors on the site are public figures and are entitled to less privacy.

  3. I am surprised that revealing someones age could ever be considered a reason to sue someone. Age should not be considered private information. The fact that the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA are saying that it limits work options for older actors is unreasonable. Anyone who is hiring an actor or actress has a right to know the age of the person they are hiring. This actress is angry that she can not continue to misrepresent herself by lying about her age. 

    1. Why do they have a right to know her age? Why is it relevant to playing a role?

      David

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      1. Most directors would want their film to be as authentic as possible. Although we constantly we see movies and shows with 25 year olds playing high school students,  I would hope there are still some directors out there who are striving for authenticity in their films. If a director wants to know their age, they should have the right. 

        I also agree with Justin that they are public figures. As we learned with defamation, they are entitled to less privacy and less protection. If the information is indeed factual, then there should be no issue in IMDB reporting it. 

  4. If her age was published else where on the internet (as I’m sure it is, since she’s an actress), would her claim become invalid? 

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