Intelius, a popular people search and public records site, has been smacked with a class-action lawsuit in Illinois that was filed by a person who claims that the company markets and sells people’s personal information in violation of an Illinois publicity rights law.
The Illinois publicity rights law is a state law that regulates who can control and use people’s personal information. The suit was filed by Illinois resident Michael R. Siegel in Cook County Circuit Court on Oct. 20, 2016 against Intelius’ parent comany Inome Inc.
The lawsuit claims that Intelius markets people’s personal information to consumers and the general public and uses the names of people to market their information without the expressed consent of the people whose personal information is included in Intelius reports.
The complaint included copies of Google search results for Siegel’s full name that show the first result is a link to an Intelius page for listings for Michael Siegel that show age, location and the names of potential family members.
After Mr. Siegel found the listing for his name on the Intelius site, he discovered that is showed a map with a pinned location near where he lives as well as phone numbers, street addresses, email addresses, nicknames, social media profiles.
In addition, according to Siegel, Intelius also offered to reveal any other publicly available records associated with him, such as court records, bankruptcy filings, vital records, marriage records, criminal records and sex offender information.
According to Siegel, Intelius does not contact people to make sure that their contact details and public record information is correct, and, he claims, that the process for removing or correcting your information is too difficult and time consuming.
Siegel also claims that Intelius’ creation and use of profile pages for people on its site takes away the right of people to control and choose how their identity is used for commercial purposes. He also claims that the company is unjustly enriching itself by using and selling people’s personal information.
According to his lawsuit all of this violates his protections covered under the Illinois Right of Publicity Act.
His class action seeks to include any people who reside in the state of Illinois whose personal information was used by Intelius for the sale, advertising or promotion of Intelius reports and services beginning in 2011 through the date the class action is settled.
In addition to seeking class action status and requesting a restraining order that stops Intelius from any more violations, Siegel is also asking for actual, statutory and punitive damages against Intelius as well as legal fees.