An actress is suing Amazon for allegedly using information from her credit card to discover her true date of birth and append it to her public Internet Movie Database listing.
The actress, who filed suit under the pseudonym Jane Doe, says in her complaint that she created a professional profile in Amazon's IMDb.com eight years ago. She did so under a stage name, and also evidently shaved a few years off of her real age, which her lawsuit indicates is around 40.
In 2008, she used a credit card issued under her legal name to upgrade to a premium IMDbPro account. After doing so, her listing on the site allegedly was updated with her true age -- which, she says, is “many years older than she looks.”
She alleges that Amazon's IMDb.com could only have discovered her real age by using her credit card information to scour public records for data about her.
“Prior to subscribing to IMDbPro, there were absolutely no means by which defendants could have obtained Plaintiff’s legal name or date of birth,” she alleges in her complaint, which was filed late last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
In her lawsuit, she accuses the retail giant of using her subscription data to “research and cross-reference public records and other sources to gather as much information as possible about each individual subscriber, including, but not limited to, his or her legal name, age, race, gender, personal shopping and spending habits, and Internet activity.”
She also alleges that Amazon refused a request to remove her actual birthdate from IMDb.com. The complaint accuses Amazon of fraud, breach of contract and violating various other laws. She says that the company broke its promise to users that it will keep their credit card data “safe” and will use the information “carefully and sensibly.”
The actress also says the publication of her age has harmed her career in two ways. “First, because lesser-known forty-year-old actresses are not in demand in the entertainment business, plaintiff has suffered a substantial decrease in acting credits, employment opportunities and earnings,” she argues. “Second, because plaintiff looks so much younger than her actual age indicates, plaintiff has experienced rejection in the industry for each “forty-year-old” role for which she has interviewed because she does not and cannot physically portray the role of a forty-year old woman.”
Amazon did not respond to a telephone call seeking comment.