Cybersecurity » Bidding High For Customers’ Emails In Bankruptcy Auction

Bidding High For Customers’ Emails In Bankruptcy Auction

July 5, 2016

Dick’s Sporting Goods this weekend put in the winning $15 million bid for the rights to 114 million customer files and 25 million email addresses that were being auctioned off as part of Sports Authority Inc.’s bankruptcy proceedings. The auction was for all of Sports Authority’s intellectual property, including its name and e-commerce site. “It’s extremely valuable data for companies to identify customers who are looking for a new home,” said Hemu Nigam, chief executive of SSP Blue and a cybersecurity expert. Businesses may legally sell consumer information as long as they include that possibility in their privacy policies. On its website, Sports Authority stated that it may, “transfer your personal information in the event of a corporate sale, merger, acquisition, dissolution or similar event.” Vague language could land companies in hot water, as RadioShack discovered when it tried to sell customer information and mailing lists during bankruptcy proceedings last year. The Federal Trade Commission eventually intervened after customer outcry.

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