The Zuckerbergs and (Nosey) Parkers of this world seem to believe that if we're not sharing everything about ourselves we're not cool. Or something.
Sometimes, though, discretion can be vital to one's ability to survive in this world.
This thesis is being put to the test by an as yet unnamed actress who was aggrieved when she signed up for IMDb's Professional service and encountered what she believes is entirely unprofessional behavior.
No, she was not made to pose on a casting couch. This was, if it is possible, even more base. For, as KIRO-FM tells it, Amazon's IMDb revealed her real name and her age.
Naturally, she is suing Amazon for $1 million in punitive damages and $75,000 in compensatory damages. For she reportedly believes that the superficial energy that drives Hollywood will cause (and has caused) producers to look down upon her true age--around 40.
The lawsuit (embedded below) declares quite forcefully that the only way that IMDb could have known her real age was through the credit card transaction when she signed up.
She is described in the suit as "Jane Doe" and the only information one can glean (without processing her credit card) is that she lives in Texas and has Asian roots.
Her real name is, according to her lawyers, very difficult to pronounce. This is something I have personally encountered once or twice (a day), so I find my sympathies leaning her way.
The case seems to have taken quite a while to come to fruition. She signed up for IMDbPro in 2008. However, despite being asked, the site has allegedly still not removed the offending details.
Still, the suit describes IMDb's actions as "malicious, intentional, oppressive, outrageous,and evidence a complete callous disregard for the rights of Plaintiff." Which is quite dramatic.
Amazon has not commented on this action. Eriko Tamuro, a Los Angeles-based actress, reportedly settled a lawsuit with IMDb in 2007 after her real name and birth date were allegedly presented for all to see.
Many will wonder about such issues as privacy--especially with Amazon's Kindle Fire being equipped with a Silk browser that might prove to be a little too silkily predictive and information-hungry for some.
I find myself wondering why IMDb publishes ages at all. The core of acting is surely pretense. These people that we revere so greatly are faking it. We don't know if what we see is the real face, the real lips, the real eyes or even, sometimes, the real body.
Why should it matter what their real ages are?
If we seem so keen and able to suspend our disbelief, why shouldn't IMDb and all the false-faced fakers among the Hollywood producer community?
Should the facts be entirely as stated in the complaint, many might hope that this actress finds a stunning uptick in her fortunes, leading her to star opposite Tom Cruise in some vastly empty headed--but lucrative--blockbuster.
According to IMDb, Tom Cruise is 49. How do they know that?