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Verizon Pays $7.4 Million to Settle FCC Privacy Investigation
by Karl Bode 02:14PM Wednesday Sep 03 2014 Tipped by matcarl See Profile
The FCC today announced that Verizon would be settling a privacy investigation into the company's business practices with a $7.4 million fine, the largest privacy-related settlement in the agency's history. According to the FCC announcement, Verizon failed to notify approximately two million new customers of their privacy rights -- or how to opt out of Verizon marketing -- before those users had their personal information used to market products and services to them.

The violations took place starting in 2006 but weren't discovered by Verizon until 2012, and were reported to the FCC belatedly in early 2013. In addition to the $7.4 million payment, Verizon has agreed to notify customers of their opt-out rights on every bill for the next three years.

"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 in a prepared statement. "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."

Granted Verizon Wireless alone saw revenues of $4.32 billion during just the second quarter alone, so despite being unprecedented in the history of the FCC, the settlement isn't likely to leave much of a dent on Verizon's wallet.

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imanogre

join:2005-11-29
Smyrna, GA

Lawsuit?

I left Verizon after this..... how do i get in on the class action lawsuit!!!!

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: Lawsuit?

you dont. when you got service you waived the right to join a class action. didn't you read the fine print in a 1pt font on your contract?
--
Despises any post with strings.

Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

Pinto it

It's cheaper to pay settlements then to actually fix the problem.

Profit is #1

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Verizon are scumbag spammers

Not only does Verizon send ads to your phone without permission ... when you sign up for a landline they sell your info to third-party direct marketing mailers that proceed to fill your mailbox with paper spam-trash.

Verizon is no better than a spammer.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: Verizon are scumbag spammers

AT&T does this on our backdoor POTS lines. It turns out to be a source of amusement when we have some down time. These lines are used as a way to dial into our core network in an emergency so we know that when that line rings it's a 1000% chance it's going to be a telemarketing monkey.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Recovery Fee

Granted Verizon Wireless alone saw revenues of $4.32 billion during just the second quarter alone, so despite being unprecedented in the history of the FCC, the settlement isn't likely to leave much of a dent on Verizon's wallet.
Either that or there will be yet another line item on Verizon bills titled "Regulatory Enforcement Recovery Fee" to the tune of $3 or so. They'll get it back pronto and not make a dent in their $4.2 billion.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH

Re: Recovery Fee

Yeh and they only have to tell people about their rights for 3 years. Then they can go right back to the same model. Rinse repeat make billions off of selling your info and a decade or 2 later pay 7.4 million in advertising fees ......

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Let me fix this for you...

Verizon Customers Pay $7.4 Million to Settle FCC Privacy Investigation.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Guess whos getting a new line item on their bills?

yes. YOU!

Goliath2k
Premium
join:2013-12-28
united state

Re: Guess whos getting a new line item on their bills?

Who needs a new line item? Verizon could probably just stealth raise bills by a few cents and over a few billing cycles easily make back their money.

The $7.2 million fine is just a rounding error, I bet it won't even show up on Verizon's end of quarter statements. Oh well, at least they got fined something.

BonezX
Basement Dweller
Premium
join:2004-04-13
Canada
kudos:1

Re: Guess whos getting a new line item on their bills?

I always wondered, where do the fines go in cases like these, the customers don't ever see it, and there is usually a bump in service costs to recover it.

I wonder, if you followed the money how much of that ends up back in the Companies pocket in the form of loans and other infrastructure deployment payment and contract agreements that they never fulfill and just pocket the money anyway, followed with a "dont' like it sue us".

They pay a fine, the fine goes to the government, customers bills go up to recover costs, government gives money to company to expand network, company pockets money, gets sued for breaking contract, pays fine, rinse repeat.