The sale of RadioShack customer data has drawn the attention of the FTC

By Shawn Knight
May 18, 2015
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  1. radioshack sale customer data unlawful ftc sprint radioshack privacy bankruptcy jessica rich

    RadioShack made it a common practice to collect various information including names, addresses and e-mail addresses from customers over the years. As is the case with virtually every other retailer, such data was collected with the promise that it would only be used for in-house purposes like promotions and more importantly, wouldn’t be sold to third parties.

    If you recall, Standard General LP emerged as the winner of RadioShack’s assets during a recent bankruptcy auction. The company agreed to pay $26.2 million for RadioShack’s branding and IP, a purchase that included the aforementioned data of tens of millions of former customers.

    The fate of RadioShack’s customer data has drawn the attention of Federal Trade Commission Protection Director Jessica Rich who recently submitted a letter to the court overseeing the company’s bankruptcy.

    In it, Rich recommended that conditions be put in place to protect the privacy of customers on RadioShack’s list. She referred to the previous FTC intervention in the bankruptcy case of online retailer Toysmart which attempted to sell its customers’ personal information despite promises to the contrary when it was still in business.

    Rich’s letter recommends that RadioShack customer data not be sold as a standalone asset but bundled with other assets. Further, she recommends that the information only be sold to acompany in the same line of business as RadioShack and that the buyer agree to be bound by the same privacy policies that were in place when RadioShack collected the data.

    Rich also recommends that the buyer notify customers of the transfer of ownership and obtain consent before using it in a manner that is different from what RadioShack promised.

    Image from Bloomberg via Getty Images

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  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,868   +1,288

    Radio Shack was actually one of the very first companies to engage in forced data collection in-store. For a couple years they would not sell you products, even if you paid with cash, unless you provided your address, ph#, blood type, sexual preference, etc. They eventually made it optional but would still push for it every single time. IMO that's one of the many big mistakes that put them on the road to ruin. Nobody should EVER do business with a company that demands personal info that don't need - their making money at the expense of YOUR privacy and safety.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,691

    Radio Shack customer data was for Radio Shack. Radio Shack is no more and so should be the customer data they collected over the years.
  4. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 70   +30

    The information shouldn't be sold at all, if a company goes out of business the information should be destroyed.

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