State attorneys general from across the country have reached a settlement to protect consumers' personally identifiable information in the sale of RadioShack's trademark and intellectual property. A coalition of 38 states, led by Texas, joined together to oppose the sale of consumer data.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement reached after mediation, the overwhelming bulk of RadioShack's consumer data will be destroyed, and no credit or debit card account numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth or even phone numbers will be transferred. The bankruptcy court approved the settlement on Wednesday.
"The settlement is a victory for consumer privacy," said Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring. "I glad we could be a part of this multi-state effort to limit the types of customer information covered by the sale and to provide former customers of RadioShack with a meaningful opportunity to decide whether their personal information is transferred to the new operator."
General Wireless obtained bankruptcy court approval to purchase RadioShack's entire e-commerce business, intellectual property and remaining assets, including certain customer data limited by this settlement. In March, General Wireless, a subsidiary of RadioShack's largest shareholder, purchased 1,750 RadioShack stores out of bankruptcy.
Out of the 8.5 million customer email addresses in RadioShack's files, the new owner will be allowed to retain only a limited number of email addresses, specifically the email addresses of those who specifically requested product information within the last two years. Customers whose email address is sold to General Wireless will also be contacted by the company and given the opportunity to opt out of future communications.
General Wireless further agreed it will not sell or share any of this customer information in the future with any other entity, including its new co-branded business partner Sprint Communications.