A letter from the Federal Trade Commission to the consumer privacy ombudsman appointed to the RadioShack bankruptcy case reveals that consumers’ names, contact information, and purchase history are among the assets being sold at auction to cover RadioShack’s debts.
The electronics retailer filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
In the letter, FTC consumer protection director Jessica Rich recommended ways in which the court could sell off consumers’ personal information without violating their privacy. RadioShack has data on tens of millions of customers, according to the document.
Rich asked that the consumer information be sold to a company that is in the same line of business as RadioShack and that the buyer agree to abide by the same privacy policies that RadioShack had in place. She also recommended that the buyer contact the relevant consumers and acquire their consent before using the purchased data.
RadioShack’s privacy policies had promised that it would not sell consumer data or its mailing lists.
The FTC has helped to protect consumer data in other bankruptcies, like that of Toysmart. In that settlement the company was allowed to sell off its consumer data if certain conditions were met.
Though Rich has asked for her letter to be included in a report that will be submitted to the bankruptcy court, the court has the ultimate say in how the assets will be divested.
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.