"A lot of what they have is right on point but a lot is also wildly inaccurate," Brookman said. "Yet they're selling it to employers and other decision makers. People have a right to see what's there and to make corrections if something is wrong."
The complaint calls on the Federal Trade Commission to take a closer look at Spokeo and ensure that it complies with consumer safeguards included in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which the FTC says "is designed to promote accuracy and ensure the privacy of the information used in consumer reports."
Spokeo's Tang declined to comment. But the company said in a statement that because it aggregates publicly available information, it does not fall under the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
"Since individual profiles are only as accurate as the published information they are comprised of, we continue to remind users that any information on our site should be regarded as a reference only," the statement said.
It'll be interesting to see if the FTC buys that argument.
David Lazarus' column runs Tuesdays and Fridays. He also can be seen daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5. Send your tips or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.