In yet another case of the telcos not looking out for customers’ best interests, Verizon has been slapped with a $7.4 million fine for failing to notify subscribers of their privacy rights. The settlement between Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was announced last week.
According to a FCC release, Verizon failed to disclose privacy rights to two million new customers and ended up using that information to market products to them. The Communications Act requires companies to obtain consent from consumers before undertaking such acts.
“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.”
Under the settlement, Verizon will have to include opt-out notices on every bill for the next three years, along with notifying the FCC of any issues with its privacy reporting system.