Background Report Company Ordered to Pay $21 Million for Misleading Users

Steven T. Lowe

On December 15, 2021, a United States District Court Judge in the Central District of California issued a large award and an injunction against MyLife.com, Inc., a company that provides users with background reports on individuals.

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) accused MyLife of displaying search results that implied the subject of the search had criminal and/or sexual offenses on their records. Often, these search results untrue. Of course, users could only see the actual records if they purchased a MyLife subscription.

The government also claimed that MyLife misrepresented its policies on refunds and subscription cancellations, which made it difficult for users to unsubscribe from the service. The Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated that “MyLife lured consumers into hard-to-cancel negative option subscriptions by preying on fears that MyLife’s reports would harm their reputations or ability to find jobs or housing.”

Ultimately, the court ruled that MyLife and Tinsley together were liable for a total of $33.9 million in damages to reimburse consumers. The court also ordered a permanent injunction intended to prevent MyLife from committing similar violations of the law in the future.

MyLife is represented by Jeffrey E. Tsai, Tamany J. Vinson Bentz, and Andrew B. Serwin of DLA Piper.

Tinsley is represented by Richard J. Frey and Edward J. Loya Jr. of Epstein Becker Green.

The case is United States of America v. MyLife.com Inc. et al., case number 2:20-cv-06692, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is an entertainment and business law firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The firm has extensive experience handling civil cases involving fraud and other business “torts” such as unfair competition, having provided top-quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized for its many achievements, including successfully litigating many high-profile cases.

Find us at our website at www.LoweLaw.com.