Case Study: US V. Spokeo

Law360, New York (July 11, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT) -- It's surprisingly easy to be deemed a "consumer reporting agency," and it can be expensive, as Spokeo Inc. discovered in its order with the Federal Trade Commission on June 12, 2012[1]. Spokeo agreed to pay the FTC $800,000 and to change some of its business practices, although Spokeo did not admit any liability.

What Did the FTC's Complaint Claim That Spokeo Did?

According to the FTC's complaint, Spokeo:

Assembled consumer information to create consumer "profiles," which Spokeo promoted as "coherent people profiles"; Organized these "profiles" by various descriptive headers, such as ethnicity, religion and social networks; promoted these "profiles" to entities...

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