Actors Could Force IMDb To Hide Their Age


A new California law gives some actors the right to force sites such as IMDb to stop listing their age. Supporters of the law say it will fight age discrimination while critics call it an attack on free speech.

The law comes after a previous court case in Washington State that ruled that sites are acting lawfully by posting such details.

California bill AB 1687 was signed into law by governor Jerry Brown this week. Despite some media reports, the new law doesn’t automatically apply to anybody whose age might be listed. Instead it only applies where an individual (such as an actor) signs up and pays to be listed on the site of a “commercial online entertainment employment service provider.”

In such cases, the person can ask that the company neither publish their age or date of birth, nor pass it on to a third party. If they make such a request, the site has five days to comply before it is breaching state law.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop an actor signing up to a site specifically to request their age details be taken down. The wording of the law is ambiguous about whether it applies to California residents and sites only.

The law’s introductory text says the measure is designed to make sure that “information obtained on an Internet Web site regarding an individual’s age will not be used in furtherance of employment or age discrimination.”