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A Japanese actress is stretching privacy law too far by claiming that the danger of harassment by “aggressive and overzealous fans” makes the Internet Movie Database liable for publishing her real name and date of birth.
Eriko Tamura, who now lives in Los Angeles, sued IMDB this month under the tort of public disclosure of private facts, which is in tension with the First Amendment because it involves the publication of truthful information. The published material must be of a kind that is “highly offensive to a reasonable person” and “not of legitimate concern to the public.”
On its much-trafficked Web site, IMDB has posted an entry for Eriko Sakamoto, Tamura’s real name, and also gives her date of birth in the separate entry for Eriko Tamura. Neither of the entries identifies Sakamoto and Tamura as the same person.
But in her complaint, Tamura alleges those facts are private and she has kept them “completely private” because they could be used by “third parties to track down her residence.” Before moving to L.A. to pursue an acting career, she was a teen-idol pop star in Japan who was compared to Britney Spears.