Spokeo.com settles lawsuit for $800,000

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

LOS ANGELES -- The controversial website, Spokeo, has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission.

From 2008 to 2010, the California-based reportedly sold millions of profiles to human resource departments that do background checks on job applicants.

However, the FTC had a problem with that saying Spokeo never took the required steps to protect consumers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The lawsuit also claims that Spokeo never made sure that the information they provided was even accurate.

Spokeo is a website that scours the Internet for information about people then merges it into one big profile.

The website has struck a nerve with some people, like Kelly Martin from Prescott, who don't want such sensitive information available for everyone to see. For Martin, that information included her home address, phone number, occupation and even photos of her son. She’s since managed to get some of the information removed but says it wasn’t an easy process.

The FTC claims Spokeo sold detailed, personal profiles to human resource recruiters, and even advertised to them through online ads, encouraging them to "explore beyond the resume."

As a result, the company will now have to pay an $800,000 penalty.

Spokeo's owner said in a blog post that the company never meant to act as a credit reporting agency and has made changes to its website and business practices to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.