Online data aggregator and broker Spokeo is facing a lawsuit in Virginia brought by a consumer who believes Spokeo is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The plaintiff is seeking to make the case a class-action lawsuit to include other consumers who have been injured by Spokeo’s actions.
Spokeo collects information about individuals from social networking sites and other online sources. It then allows people to search its site, seeking information about individuals. While some of the information, such as names and addresses, is available for free, Spokeo sells other data. One of the pieces of information available for a price is Spokeo’s estimation of individuals’ personal wealth.
The complaint filed against Spokeo alleges that individual consumers have no way to correct or remove inaccurate data in Spokeo’s reports. This is a particular concern for the plaintiff, Thomas Robins, who says that Spokeo’s inaccurate reporting of his age, marital status, field of work, level of education, and parental status could negatively affect his ability to receive loans, employment, insurance, and other services whose providers may depend on Spokeo’s information.
According to a Spokeo spokesperson, the FCRA doesn’t apply to the company, because it isn’t a credit reporting agency and it doesn’t issue consumer reports. Robins, however, says that Spokeo’s business of gathering and then distributing or selling information about consumers is enough to make Spokeo fall under the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s rules.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is intended to help protect consumers against the damage to their credit that can be caused by false information. Whether the incorrect information is an honest mistake or a deliberate lie, inaccuracies that you cannot correct can unfairly damage your credit for years to come.
If you have been harassed or bullied by a debt collector, or if your credit report is inaccurate and the credit reporting agency will not fix it, email Attorney Gary Nitzkin or call toll free (888) 293-2882. For more information about our firm, visit our website, Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers. We have a lot of good information including short “how to” videos that you will find useful.