Actress Outed as Over 40 Can’t Sue IMDb for Fraud

     (CN) – A 41-year old actress who sued the Internet Movie Database for revealing her true age cannot prove fraud by the website, a federal judge ruled.



     Huong Hoang, an actress professionally known as Junie Hoang, had sued imdb.com and its parent company, Amazon, anonymously in January, claiming the website revealed her date of birth even though she had not disclosed such information.
     She amended the federal complaint in Seattle to reveal her name after a judge ruled that “the injury she fears is not severe enough to justify permitting her to proceed anonymously.”
     Hoang accused the IMDb of using the information she gave it to “scour public records databases and other sources for purposes of discovering Plaintiff’s date of birth,” and claimed the site refused to take down her birth date.
     By revealing her real age, Hoang says IMDb created a “double-whammy effect” in which she “cannot get roles playing younger women, and because she looks so much younger than she actually is, [she] cannot physically portray the role of a forty-year-old woman.”
     U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in April tossed claims that IMDb’s conduct constituted fraud and a violation of Washington privacy law. The judge gave Hoang leave to amend the fraud claim, however, and upheld the claims of breach-of-contract and violation of state consumer-protection law.
     But Hoang’s amended fraud case still failed to sway the court.
     A plaintiff must raise highly particular facts to claim fraud, and Hoang could not prove that Amazon’s privacy notice was fraudulent, Pechman found last week.
     Hoang’s statement that the fraud claim “involves the defendants doing essentially the same act” fails to meet statutory requirements, the six-page decision states.
     “Plaintiff’s allegedly false statements fall into two categories: they either describe the security features of Amazon.com’s payment system or they describe how IMDb.com protects subscribers’ personal information,” Pechman wrote.
     “In either case, plaintiff provides no details, beyond her own conclusory allegations, that support an inference that any of the statements she cites are false.”

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