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Post date: May 20 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Agreement To Protect Consumer Data In Radioshack Bankruptcy

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with RadioShack over the sale of its customers’ personally identifiable information. New York, along with thirty-seven other states, joined together to oppose the sale of consumer data earlier this year.

“This settlement is a victory for consumers’ privacy nationwide, and could serve as a model for future bankruptcies,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “It’s critically important to safeguard sensitive, personally identifiable information, and we are pleased that the new operators of RadioShack will abide by the privacy pledge they promised to millions of customers. ”

General Wireless obtained bankruptcy court approval today to purchase RadioShack's entire e-commerce business, intellectual property and remaining assets, including certain customer data limited by this settlement. The electronic retailer will continue to employ approximately 10,000 former RadioShack employees.

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement approved on May 20 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon, the overwhelming bulk of RadioShack consumer data will be destroyed, and the new owner of RadioShack will not gain access to any sensitive personally identifiable information, including credit or debit card information, social security numbers, telephone numbers or dates of birth.

General Wireless will be permitted to retain only the email addresses previously given by RadioShack customers requesting product information, and those customers will be provided an express ability to opt out before their email addresses are transferred to the new owner. Any customer who receives a postal mailing from the successor business will also have an express opportunity to opt out of future communications from the company. The agreement will limit the number of email addresses available for transfer to only those obtained during the past two years.

Out of the 117 million customer files, no more than 67 million will be transferred and the rest will be destroyed, and General Wireless will be prohibited from selling or sharing any of this customer information in the future with any other entity, including its new co-branded business partner Sprint Communications.

The mediation was led by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

New York was represented by the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Internet Bureau Clark Russell. The Internet Bureau Chief is Kathleen McGee; the Internet Bureau is part of the Division of Economic Justice, which is led by Karla Sanchez.