High court split over data dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems split along ideological lines as it considers whether websites that collect and sell personal data can be sued for posting false information if the errors don’t cause any specific harm.

The justices heard arguments Monday in a case involving Thomas Robins, a Virginia resident who noticed that an online profile about him compiled by Internet search site Spokeo.com was filled with major mistakes.

Robins, who was in his 20s, unemployed and single, found himself described as wealthy, in his 50s, holding a good job, and married with children.

At issue is whether Robins can sue Spokeo for a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, even though he could not show the mistakes spoiled his credit or cost him a job.

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