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Actress loses lawsuit against IMDb for publishing her age online

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A jury has determined that IMDb was in the right when it published the real age of actress Junie Hoang. Hoang, who has appeared in a number of B-movies and TV series, filed suit against Amazon-owned IMDb in 2011, alleging that it breached its service agreement with her. According to Variety, Hoang had initially signed up for IMDb and left her date of birth blank, but she later submitted a date seven years later than her actual birth year, 1971. Later, she decided she wanted it removed and contacted IMDb, asking them to search their records for any documentation about the date after they refused to take it down.

From there, Hoang alleges that IMDb looked up a credit card she'd used on her IMDbPro profile, then "used that information to scour public records databases and other sources" to find her date of birth and post it. According to her, using that credit card data was a breach of contract, making IMDb and its parent company Amazon liable for wages she lost when casting directors found out she was older than she looked.

IMDb and Amazon, however, argued that "IMDb exercised its First Amendment right to publish truthful and accurate information" by finding information about Hoang in public records. Eventually, the case hinged on the apparent fact that Hoang had lied about her age both on her submission and on identifying documents, and on IMDb's assertion that it would be difficult to determine whether she had actually lost money or roles after they published the correct date. The larger debate about what responsibilities companies bear to keep information secret remains active, but this case is settled for good.