Spokeo Fined $800,000 for Violation of FTC Privacy Laws


The NY Times reported that Spokeo was “compiling and selling people’s personal information for use by potential employers in screening job applicants.” For the first time ever, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged and assessed a fine for use of personal Internet data in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Spokeo confessed that it violated federal laws by “furnishing a consumer report to any person who does not have permissible purpose to receive the consumer report...” 

Between 2008 to 2010 Spokeo sold “coherent people profiles” that could include:

an individual’s address,
phone number,
marital status,
approximate age,
e-mail address,
participation on social media sites,
and other information.

Spokeo founder and President Harrison Tang admitted the FTC charges and signed the Consent Order with the FTC.

This fine and confession by Spokeo are significant as they indicates social media sites must comply with federal privacy laws, and the that the FTC is being vigilant to protect consumers.

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.


AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top