Actress tries to sue website for revealing her age

Junie Hoang

Actress Huong Hoang - who uses the stage name Junie Hoang - tried to sue Amazon.com for revealing her real age on the information website for the movie industry: IMDb Pro. She had initially provided the site with a date of birth that reduced her age by seven years. When she asked for it to be removed from her profile page, they published her real date of birth.

Hoang said that offers of work dried up after this move, and she tried to sue for damages.
Junie Hoang is listed on IMDb as having appeared in a number of films, including Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver and playing a Zombie Postwoman in Z: A Zombie Musical.

The case

According to the BBC, 41-year-old Hoang filed court documents in 2011 against Amazon and IMDb, claiming breach of contract, fraud, and violation of privacy and consumer protection laws. She was seeking $1 million in damages.

The Daily Mail reported that when she asked to have her fake age removed from her profile, the company refused unless she could prove it was incorrect. She asked it to check its records to see if it had any information that would show her real age.

It used her account information to find her real name, and then used that to do a search of public records for her real age. It then published this on the site - despite her objections. She claimed this amounted to a misuse of her account information. The company countered that its terms and conditions allowed it to use the information 'for such purposes as responding to your requests', and that she had requested them to look for her age.

According to Ace Showbiz News, she was supported by two acting unions, who said that casting directors often used the site to discover how old actors were. They claimed that it closed their minds to the potential range of ages an actor could portray. The site argued that it could not be held responsible for how people chose to use the information read on the site.

IMDb argued that it had a first amendment right to publish accurate information. It also said that Hoang could not provide any evidence that she had lost work as a result of the information being made public.

Amazon.com was dismissed as a defendant before the trial. The case against IMDb concluded yesterday, and the jury in Seattle rejected Hoang's claims. After the verdict she told the Associated Press that she had been trying to get the company to change its policy on revealing ages, for the sake of other actors as well as herself.

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