United States: Amicus Brief argues that the consumer information agency is not legally protected from the Fair Credit Reporting Act by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
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- North Carolina AG Josh Stein, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) have filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at the ” support for the position of consumers seeking Henderson v. The source of public data, LP (“Public Data”), No. 21-1678, that section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) does not prevent the application of the procedural requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) to the consumer rating agency.
- In their second amended complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the plaintiffs alleged that Public Data, an online public records provider, is a consumer information agency and that she violated the FCRA by including false and inaccurate criminal information. in the background check reports it has produced and offered for sale on its website. Public Data relied on Section 230 of the CDA as a defense, arguing that it was entitled to Section 230 immunity as a publisher of third-party information.
- In his opinion, Judge Hudson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia agreed with the public data, ruling that the FCRA was not on the list of statutory exemptions from CDA immunity. and that public data could benefit from Section 230 immunity because it does not produce the content of the reports, but the information is derived from other content providers. The complainants appealed.
- The amicus brief argues, among other things, that Section 230 does not grant immunity to public data because the FCRA complainants’ claims do not seek to hold public data accountable on the basis of inaccurate data. themselves, but on the basis of the public data’s failure to keep up with the process-driven demands that FCRA places on consumer reporting agencies. Further, the brief argues that the Applicant’s allegations sufficiently alleged that Public Data was creating and developing its reports, including collecting, sorting, summarizing and collating information from public records, and that it was not simply the publisher or speaker of another person’s content. .
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