Mugshot Site Can't Claim Free Speech To Shake Privacy Suit

By Allison Grande (September 28, 2017, 7:55 PM EDT) -- An Illinois federal judge has refused to nix a proposed class action accusing of violating individuals' privacy rights and extorting them by charging fees to take their arrest data offline, ruling that the site's use of the information is commercial speech that does not warrant First Amendment protections.

Plaintiffs Peter Gabiola, Antonio Hammond and Jimmy Thompson sued, a related information-takedown site called, and the sites' owners and operators in 2016 after discovering that they were being denied employment opportunities after their mugshots and arrest information were posted on without their consent. When they tried to remove the...

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