Amazon/IMDb sued for listing actress’s age

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

An actress who prefers to remain anonymous is pursuing damages against Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and its parent company Amazon for revealing her age on her public IMDb portfolio.

The actress was relatively unknown in the entertainment industry until 2003, when she listed herself on IMDb using an Americanized pseudonym. She claims this listing resulted in several entertainment jobs.

In 2008 she upgraded to an IMDb Pro subscription, which is designed for those in the entertainment industry specifically. The service allows its users to post and browse detailed profiles and contact information.

To purchase the service, the actress used her real name and date of birth. Her complaint alleges that IMDb used that information to determine her age, and then published that figure on the IMDb website where anyone can see it. The lawsuit alleges the actress loses work opportunities due to the listing of her age, which is close to forty. The lawsuit also alleges that IMDb was asked to remove her age but refused.

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said Amazon does not comment on litigation. Similarly, IMDb has not answered e-mail requests for a statement.

The actress wishes to remain anonymous, her representative says, due to the fear of retaliation from defendants. Such retaliation, the attorney claims, could result in financial injury and even more damage to his client.

IMDb stated that the company procured the actress’s age from her agent. Her attorney responded that the statement is untrue.

Amazon and IMDb stand accused of violating consumer protection and privacy laws, fraud, and breach of contract. The actress is suing for over $75,000 in compensatory damages and for over $1 million in punitive damages.

Source: CBS News “Actress sues Amazon for revealing her age on IMDb,” Oct. 18, 2011