Enlarge / The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse in San Francisco, California. (credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A federal appeals court ruled (PDF) yesterday that a lawsuit alleging that Spokeo’s “people search engine” violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act can move forward.
Spokeo operates a “people search” engine which gathers publicly available information from social networks, phone books, and real-estate and business websites. The engine then makes the information available via its online search portal. The company’s search results tell users that it “does not verify or evaluate each piece of data,” and it says the information it shows should not be used to determine “eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, or for any other purposes covered under the FCRA,” referring to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Thomas Robins, a Virginia resident, sued Spokeo in 2011. In a proposed class-action complaint, Robins said that Spokeo’s search engine is producing “in-depth consumer reports” in violation of FCRA.
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