Background Check Company Sued For Calling Samuel Jackson A Sex Offender

from the no,-not-that-one dept

Consumerist points us to the news that a guy named Samuel D. Jackson (not L.) has initiated a class action lawsuit against Infotrack, a background check company, because it claimed that he was a sex offender. The only problem? Infotrack got confused over its Samuel Jacksons, and didn't bother to do much to disambiguate them. That the guy they called a "sex offender" was only four years old at the time of the supposed "crime" apparently didn't set off any alarm bells at Infotrack. In fact, Jackson claims that the company told him this kind of thing happens often enough in cases where people have "common names." In this case, Infotrack didn't even check middle names, as the actual offender is named Samuel L. Jackson... though is not the famous Samuel L. Jackson. Thankfully, however, it appears that movie studios didn't rely on the same background checks in determining whether or not to employ the actor, or the class action lawsuit might have become even more entertaining.

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  • icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 2:56pm

    It could have been worse. They had previously listed his occupation as Hitman and his primary language as English Motherfucker.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Krish (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 3:21pm

    This is why we need an "identity service"... like Google+!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jollygreengiant (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 3:23pm

    That must have been after he filmed "Trouser Snakes on a Plane"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    xenomancer (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Forget Snakes

    I have had it with these motherf***ing mismatches on this motherf***ing website.

    [/S.L.J.]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rikuo (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 3:39pm

    I thought the US government did this service but for free, and instead of being called a sex offender, you get the much better offer of being called a terrorist! It's the exact same situation, where no due diligence is being performed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gorthax, 29 Aug 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Please, allow him to retort...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2011 @ 7:10pm

    That is one tasty lawsuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    f0nZi3 (profile), 29 Aug 2011 @ 7:15pm

    And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    J Jackson, 29 Aug 2011 @ 9:44pm

    Background Checks through InfoTrack and lawsuits

    Read this and end your confusion:
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/08/25/Infotrack.pdf

    Those of you who think it is funny, should consider that you have not yet been screwed over by these so-called background check companies and credit reporting agencies.

    My credit report states that I have had an *ACTIVE* J.C.Penny account since I was 14 years old. And other stuff which is wrong, but it keeps reappearing after being corrected numerous times. Trust NO ONE!

    There is really too much information out ther about most everyone, including you the reader, which is going to bite someday.

    Your local government is the worst offender, it is staffed by lazy, overpaid idiots, who would not last 15 minutes on a REAL job; consider the DMV for example!

    Great place to gather identify theft info: Facebook........

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2011 @ 9:53pm

    This is a pretty big issue for me. I had to agree to a background check for my new job starting soon. After reading this news elsewhere I checked the registry and found someone sharing my exact name and age living in Florida.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 12:58am

    We just farm all the data we can, you can't expect us to actually compile it and pay attention to details.

    The names match... good enough.

    I wonder how these companies manage to keep clients with such crappy "research".

    It would be interesting for anyone who is a client of theirs to run their top execs names and see what the reports say...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      WysiWyg (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 4:37am

      Re:

      As long as the price is right and they don't exclude ALL the people wanting jobs, their clients isn't going to care.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2011 @ 3:47pm

        Re: Re:

        When the company says the board members of that company using the service are sex offenders and have felonies that that do not actually have... I think they might care.

        Because when the misidentify one of us regular people, its not a big deal he can always apply for another job somewhere else.

        But when your falsely labeling rich/powerful people, they tend to make enough noise at the country club to get an investigation launched.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2011 @ 2:43am

    Why not libel?

    Why is this a class action rather than simple libel? I can think of few things worse than being falsely accused of being a sex offender.

    libel
    1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:25am

      Re: Why not libel?

      Class action? Multiple plaintiffs.

      This is a pervasive pattern of negligent behavior. I don't think you realize how truely BAD it is for any aggregation company like this to match people base on an impartial name. It's bad enough to match people on just their full name.

      This is just so painfully wrong (and mathematically incorrect) to anyone that's ever done this sort of work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    peter, 30 Aug 2011 @ 5:45am

    People willing to believe

    The other half of the problem is that the people who use these backround checks are only too willing to believe them. I applied for my first mortgage 20 years ago and had it refused because someone with the same sirname and initial had comitted fraud. The fact that I had a different first name, middle name, DOB and had nothing in common was beside the point. It was only because I could prove I was not even in the country at the time of the fraud that I got the mortgage. Even now 20 years on I still get turned down because the credit agencies still provide information that there was a person with the same surname who comitted fraud, and the Companies who use the info do not take the simplest check of the information they are given.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jes Lookin, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:39am

    Judged by Whoever

    Sounds like our 'new' new age where all the unreliable, hackable information is now your identity. (Maybe a new $ervice that'$ needed?)
    That's because we still ignore the dilemma created by the old 'opt-in' debate and so hundreds of stupid companies are collecting unreliable data on you. And you are not informed this is happening, have no chance to 'opt-out' until it's annoyingly too late, and no real control of who has what information.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MAC, 30 Aug 2011 @ 7:53am

    Loss of Freedom...

    Another example of Freedom being erroded away, this time in the name of profit.

    It's profitable for these purveyors of dis-information to have a very large pool of data. Never mind if it's correct; lets just be able to brag that we have the goods on 90% of Americans.

    There should be a way to sue these idiots out of existance.

    Perhaps a new law that allows the individual to sue individuals at corporation who either willfully or through negligence allow this sort of thing to happen.

    I bet a couple of $1,000,000+ lawsuits against the morons that run these businesses will either:
    Make them check their data - Thorougly
    or
    Put them out of business
    I opt for the latter...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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