Jul 022010
 July 2, 2010  Posted by  Business

Grant Gross reports:

A privacy and credit-reporting complaint filed by the Center for Democracy and Technology against people-search Web site Spokeo.com is based on flawed assumptions about the site’s business model, a Spokeo executive said.

The CDT complaint, filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Wednesday, alleges that Spokeo violates the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act by publishing financial information on millions of U.S. residents without allowing them to see who has accessed their data or informing them of potential adverse determinations made from the data. Spokeo’s profiles also contain “significant inaccuracies,” even though it has pitched itself to human resources professionals and job recruiters, the CDT complaint said.

But Spokeo is not subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, because it does not issue credit reports, and because it uses only publicly available information to build its profiles and make credit and wealth estimates, said Sharon Dvoretzky, the site’s vice president of communications. Spokeo does not access Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, or bank accounts used by credit reporting agencies, she said.

“We feel very strongly it’s an unwarranted and unsupported claim,” Dvoretzky said of the CDT complaint. “It totally misrepresents our business practices.”

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