Feeds

Verizon hit with $7.4 MEEELLION fine for slurping users' privates

Promises not to do it again

Verizon has agreed to pay the US Treasury $7.4m to settle an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission into its failure to tell customers that it was using their personal information for marketing purposes.

"In today's increasingly connected world, it is critical that every phone company honor its duty to inform customers of their privacy choices and then to respect those choices," said Travis LeBlanc, acting chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.

"It is plainly unacceptable for any phone company to use its customers' personal information for thousands of marketing campaigns without even giving them the choice to opt out."

Verizon maintains an opt-out policy on slurping up user data for marketing, meaning it can harvest what it likes unless the customer explicitly says it can't. The FCC found that for several years beginning in 2006, Verizon had failed to inform over two million customers of their right to keep their information private.

The company noticed that it wasn't informing customers of their privacy rights in September 2012, yet didn't inform the FCC until 126 days later, instead of the five business days mandated by telecommunications regulations.

In addition to shelling out for the fine, Verizon has agreed to add a notice informing customers of their privacy rights to every bill for the next three years. It has also agreed that it will conduct regular testing of its systems to make sure its billing system and opt-out notices are in good working order. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.