Bankrupt RadioShack to Auction Off Millions of Customer Records

Following RadioShack’s recent bankruptcy filing, the tech retailer is now in the process of selling not only trademarks and real estate, but also millions of customer names, emails and physical addresses.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the highest bid for the company’s assets came from RadioShack creditor and hedge fund Standard General at an auction on Monday.

However, the purchase is yet to be approved by a bankruptcy court in Delaware, with several states, and telecommunications giant AT&T, challenging the hefty transaction.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argues that the retailer made an explicit promise to its customers not to sell their personal data – a claim clearly stated in the company’s online privacy policy:

We will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone at any time. We will not use any personal information beyond what is necessary to assist us in delivering to you the services you have requested. We may send personally identifiable information about you to other organizations when: We have your consent to share the information (you will be provided the opportunity to opt-out if you desire).

Paxton added that RadioShack’s customer data for sale includes 117 million people, as well as information on customers’ shopping habits.

Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance also joined in on the objection earlier this week.

Meanwhile, AT&T is attempting to battle the transaction by stating the information isn’t actually for RadioShack to sell. The wireless carrier states it worked with the company to market its phones, in which case the retailer should not be able to sell information belonging to AT&T.

As a resolution, AT&T proposed the data should be destroyed to prevent its competitors from accessing the information.

A similar case was last seen before court back in 2000, when, an online toy store, filed for bankruptcy and attempted to auction off its customer data.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued the company to prevent the sale, claiming Toysmart was violating its own privacy policy, which stated consumers’ personal information would never be shared with third parties. According to the Washington Post, the data was eventually destroyed.



Via: tripwire

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