Today marks a first for the FTC, which announced a settlement with Spokeo to the tune of $800,000. This is the first case of it's kind, involving the investigation of a web-based search engine by the FTC, resulting in a big dollar settlement. Referring to Pasadena-based Spokeo as a “data broker”, the FTC alleged that Spokeo operated as a consumer reporting agency (CRA) and violated the FCRA by targeting the sale of consumer reports to employers and recruiters without following the law. The complaint alleges that Spokeo failed to vet its users to certify that the information it sold would be used only for legally permissible purposes; failed to ensure that the information was accurate; and failed to provide user notices, including telling users about their obligations under the FCRA.
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