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Doe v Amazon Complaint

Doe v Amazon Complaint

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Published by Eric Goldman
Privacy lawsuit against IMDb
Privacy lawsuit against IMDb

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Oct 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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COMPLAINT- 1
N
EWMAN
D
U
W
ORS
LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 1600Seattle, Washington 98101(206) 274-2800
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTONAT SEATTLE
JANE DOE, an individual,Plaintiff,vs.AMAZON.COM, INC., a Delawarecorporation, and IMDB.COM, INC., aDelaware corporation,Defendants.No.
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGESAND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF WITHJURY DEMAND
Plaintiff Jane Doe, by and through her undersigned counsel, states as follows uponactual knowledge with respect to herself and her own acts and upon information andbelief as to all other matters complained of against defendants Amazon.com, Inc., aWashington corporation (“Amazon”) and IMDb.com, Inc., a Delaware corporation(“IMDb”), (collectively, “Defendants”):
I.
 
NATURE OF THE CASE
1.
 
Amazon is one of the leading Internet companies in the country. Throughits wholly-owned subsidiary, IMDb, Amazon provides free access to the world’s largest“Internet Movie Database” at the website www.imdb.com. The Internet Movie Databaseis a very handy resume tool for employers in the film and television industry as itattempts to list every production upon which a writer, performer or crew member has
Case 2:11-cv-01709-JCC Document 1 Filed 10/13/11 Page 1 of 13
 
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COMPLAINT- 2
N
EWMAN
D
U
W
ORS
LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 1600Seattle, Washington 98101(206) 274-2800
ever worked. Likewise, up-and-coming entertainment professionals rely on the exposureprovided by the Internet Movie Database to seek employment opportunities in theentertainment industry.
 
2.
 
Through IMDb, Amazon also offers a subscription service called“IMDbPro,” which provides “industry insider” information to paying customers. In orderto subscribe to IMDbPro, Amazon requires consumers to submit detailed personal andcredit card information, purportedly for purposes of processing payment for thesubscription. IMDbPro consumers also must accept IMDbPro.com’s SubscriberAgreement and incorporated Privacy Policy (the “Subscriber Agreement”). It is notpossible for a consumer to sign up for IMDbPro without providing his or her credit cardinformation and accepting the terms of the Subscriber Agreement.3.
 
The IMDbPro subscription process plainly has great capability to invadethe privacy of the subscribers and misappropriate their personal and credit cardinformation, so Defendants go out of their way to make consumers feel safe aboutproviding this highly confidential information. For example, the following informationappears on IMDbPro’s subscription page and/or in the Subscriber Agreement:
 
 
“We guarantee that every transaction you make at IMDbPro.com will be safe.”
 
“Payment processing is powered by Amazon.com.”
 
 
“Our secure socket layer (SSL) software is the industry standard and amongthe best software available today for secure commerce transactions. It encryptsall of your personal information including credit card number, name andaddress so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the Internet.”
 
 
“IMDb knows that you care how information about you is used and shared, andwe appreciate your trust that we will do so carefully and sensibly.”
 
 
“Further, whenever we deal with user information, we will always comply withapplicable laws and regulations in doing so.”Defendants thus attempt to assuage privacy concerns, but their statements arevague, ambiguous, inaccurate and uninformative about Defendants’ actual data collection
Case 2:11-cv-01709-JCC Document 1 Filed 10/13/11 Page 2 of 13
 
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COMPLAINT- 3
N
EWMAN
D
U
W
ORS
LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 1600Seattle, Washington 98101(206) 274-2800
and information-handling procedures, and mislead consumers into thinking that theirpersonal and credit card information is safe and will be used solely for purposes of processing payment.
 
4.
 
Little do IMDbPro subscribers know, nor are they likely aware, thatDefendants intercept, store, record, and use the information provided during thesubscription process, including their credit card information, to research and cross-reference public records and other sources to gather as much information as possibleabout each individual subscriber, including, but not limited to, his or her legal name, age,race, gender, personal shopping and spending habits, and Internet activity, which acts areunknown to and not consented to by the subscribers.5.
 
Subscribers who happen to be one of the millions of people listed in theInternet Movie Database suffer a substantial further risk of harm of their private, personalinformation becoming available to the public at www.imdb.com and other affiliated andunaffiliated websites that simply copy and republish information posted atwww.imdb.com.6.
 
In Plaintiff’s case, Defendants were able to and did access Plaintiff’spersonal and credit card information by intercepting and recording her confidentialelectronic communications without or beyond her consent, further using that informationto cross-reference public records and other sources to obtain, among other things,Plaintiff’s legal name, age, date of birth, and other personal, confidential information, andmaking some of that unlawfully-obtained confidential information available to the publicat www.imdb.com and other affiliated and unaffiliated websites.7.
 
By this practice, Defendants committed fraud, breached the terms of theSubscriber Agreement and Privacy Policy entered into with Plaintiff, and violatedPlaintiff’s statutory privacy and consumer protection rights as described herein. Plaintiff brings this action seeking declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief to redressDefendants’ unlawful conduct.
Case 2:11-cv-01709-JCC Document 1 Filed 10/13/11 Page 3 of 13

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