New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Anonymity, privacy


January 8th, 2012

Previously Anonymous Actress Suing IMDb/Amazon Refiles Suit

Junie Hoang has agreed to surrender her anonymity to sue IMDb/Amazon for invasion of privacy

Back in November, a suit made national headlines when an anonymous actress sued the Internet Movie Database (owned by Amazon) for invading her privacy. She alleged that Amazon had her credit card information to find her date of birth, and gave it to IMDb to put up on its site. This issue was important given the rampant discrimination in Hollywood against actresses who reach the age of 40. She claimed that IMDb got the date of birth from Amazon.

The lawsuit sounds in fraud and breach of contract given various privacy and consumer protection laws, as well as Amazon’s agreement to handle personal information “carefully and sensibly.”

I predicted back then that Amazon’s lawyers would attack the concept of anonymity, under the theory that the actress would drop the suit if forced to reveal her name. And I said Amazon would win that fight as federal courts have a very high bar for anonymous suits.

Amazon did exactly that, and as I predicted, they persevered and the judge dismissed the suit forcing her to either drop the matter or go public.

And actress Huang Hoang, using the stage name Junie Hoang, likely surprised the hell out of Amazon’s lawyers  by telling them, in substance, vade et caca in pilleum et ipse traheatur super aures tuo (go shit in a hat and pull it down over your ears).  She decided to refile suit under her real name. It’s nice to see that she has the courage of her convictions.

By the way, the underlying basis for why Ms. Hoang wanted to keep her age private, and was outraged at what she believes was the breach of her privacy is here:

Women over 40 make up 24.3 percent of the U.S. population, but a casting analysis by the Screen Actors Guild showed actresses over 40 get just 12.5 percent of roles for television and film. Men of that age are also about a quarter of the population, but nearly equal their ranks in casting.


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