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United States v. Spokeo, Inc.

No. CV12-05001MMM(JHx) (2012)

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United States v. Spokeo, Inc.

United States District Court for the Central District of California

No. CV12-05001MMM(JHx) (2012)

Facts

Spokeo, Inc. (defendant) compiled consumer information from myriad sources, including social-media websites and other data sellers. Spokeo used this information to create consumer profiles of people. These profiles contained information such as a person’s name, physical address, email address, phone number, marital status, age, and any other personal information that Spokeo could compile. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (plaintiff) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that Spokeo’s practices violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In 2010 Spokeo had amended its terms of service to state that users of its website could not use the website for activities that the FCRA covered. The FTC, alleged, however, that Spokeo did not ensure that its existing users ceased using the website for purposes the FCRA covered. The FTC also alleged that Spokeo did not ask for the identity of the users of its consumer reports and did not verify the users’ planned uses of the reports.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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