Nov 302011
 November 30, 2011  Posted by  Breaches, Business, Court

Based on comments I’ve read around the web, this blog may be one of the few that thinks an actress who sued IMDB for revealing her true birthdate raised some legitimate concerns (other coverage on this blog here and here).

But Eriq Gardner reports that the actress just got some probably welcome support from an executive and general counsel for the Screen Actor’s Guild, who not only supported her request to sue as Jane Doe, but backed her claim that IMDB listing real ages of actors/actresses over 40 is harmful to their chances of getting jobs.

Read more on Hollywood Reporter, where you can also read his declaration to the court.

Even if IMDB obtained her true birthdate through means other than her credit card-related info, I don’t see where their policy permits this.  As a reminder, the relevant portion of their policy says:

Information from Other Sources: For reasons such as improving personalization of our service (for example, providing better movie recommendations or special offers that we think will interest you), we might receive information about you from other sources and add it to our account information. We also sometimes receive updated delivery and address information from other sources so that we can correct our records and deliver your next communication more easily

That suggests to me that information added to the account is done so for the benefit of the paid subscriber. If a subscriber chooses to keep their birthdate private, how can IMDB claim that their revelation of the data improves personalization of their service or in any way benefits the subscriber?

So I’ll just stay in the minority on this one and wait to see what happens.  But those who believe in user control of information might want to get behind Jane Doe instead of ridiculing her for this lawsuit.  You may not care about her age, but I bet you do care and would care if a service you paid for revealed your personal information and the information resulted in you losing job opportunities.

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