An actress’ age is often a well guarded secret. Whether it is also covered under privacy laws is the subject of current litigation between Huong Hoang (aka Junie Hoang for acting purposes) and IMDb, the Internet Movie Database used by many in Hollywood to view an industry player’s profile, resume, photos and filmography. In Ms. Hoang’s resume, it lists her age range at 27-34. But IMDb found out her real age and included it in publicly available information on its website.
Ms. Hoang sued IMDb in federal court over IMDb’s alleged misuse of personal credit information she provided in association with obtaining an IMDB Pro account. She alleges IMDb improperly used this information to obtain her true age via PrivateEye.com. Over 5,000 people have signed a petition asking IMDb to remove birthdates and ages from its website.
Ms. Hoang claims that she has suffered lost profits as a result of IMDb’s actions. She asserts that casting directors are negatively influenced by her over-40 status and this has caused her to get fewer acting jobs. In order to prove damages, Ms. Hoang will have to establish the incremental profits from additional roles she would have otherwise been awarded but for her age being revealed on IMDb.