Your Personal Data Could Be For Sale In RadioShack Bankruptcy Auction

Have you handed your name, address, e-mail address, or phone number over to RadioShack as part of a purchase or, inexplicably, when you returned an item that you bought with cash? As the bankruptcy auction of the smoldering remains of The Shack continues into its second day, we’ve learned that one of the assets for sale is RadioShack’s customer list, which includes more than 65 million mailing addresses and more than 13 million e-mail addresses. Update: The bankruptcy auction’s privacy ombudsman says that customer information isn’t for sale. Yet.

Sure, many of those customers have most likely moved since they bought that extended warranty on their remote control car back in 2007, but many of them haven’t. Do you expect when handing over your contact information that the company will sell that information eight years later? Maybe you do assume that. We all certainly should.

Bloomberg reports that Standard General, a hedge fund with an almost suspiciously generic name, is the winner of the auction for a little less than half of the chain’s pre-bankruptcy store network, as well as the brand name and other assets at the corporate level.

AT&T has already weighed in on what they think ought to be done with their customer data in RadioShack’s hands, and the state attorneys general of Texas and Tennessee have filed objections to the sale of customer data. (RadioShack is based in Texas.)

RadioShack’s Bankruptcy Could Give Your Customer Data to the Highest Bidder [Bloomberg]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.