Friday , 14 December 2018
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Verizon to pay USD 7.4 mln to settle FCC data privacy probe

Verizon to pay USD 7.4 mln to settle FCC data privacy probe

Verizon Communications has agreed to pay the Federal Communications Commission USD 7.4 million to resolve an investigation into the company’s use of personal consumer information for marketing purposes. The FCC accused Verizon of failing to inform around two million new customers about their rights to opt out of having their information used for marketing purposes. The company didn’t provide the required notices back in 2006 and didn’t even become aware of the issue until September 2012. Verizon then failed to notify the FCC of the problem until 18 January 2013, some 126 days later, which is far in excess of the 5 business days the FCC requires.

“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,” said Travis LeBlanc, acting chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, in a statement. “In today’s increasingly connected world, it is critical that every phone company honour its duty to inform customers of their privacy choices and then to respect those choices,” he added.

The fine is the largest payment ever received by the FCC in an investigation into the use of customers’ personal information. Verizon will now be required to print opt-out notices on every bill for the next three years, not just the first one sent to customers.

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