An actress (who filed the complaint as “Jane Doe”) recently sued IMDb.com (and its owner Amazon.com, Inc.) for disclosing her age on the IMDb.com website. IMDb.com attempts to list every production upon which a writer, performer or crew member has ever worked. IMDb.com offers a paid service, called IMDbPro, which provides additional information to paying customers. According to the complaint, the actress subscribed to IMDbPro, and provided her personal and credit card information to pay for the subscription. Shortly after subscribing, the actress alleges that she noticed that her legal date of birth had been added to her public acting profile, revealing that she is much older than she looks. The actress sued for breach of contract, and a violation of Washington’s privacy act. The case is currently pending, and the actress may be compelled by the court to reveal her name.
TIP: This case is a reminder that revealing personal information–including dates of birth-can be a sensitive area for many. Care should be taken to vet data storage, protection and disclosure programs and ensure that they are not only compliant with laws, but that related risks have been considered and managed.