CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says RadioShack has agreed to destroy nearly half of the customer data it had collected and planned to sell as part of its bankruptcy sale to General Wireless.
In March, West Virginia joined a bipartisan coalition of 38 states, led by Texas, to oppose RadioShack’s sale of consumer data. Under the terms of a settlement agreement reached May 20, much of RadioShack’s 117 million files of consumer data will be destroyed, and no credit or debit card account numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, or phone numbers will be transferred.
“We were very concerned about RadioShack’s proposal to sell and share private customer information, especially when customers were told that the data would never be sold,” Morrisey said. “We believe companies should abide by the promises they make to consumers, including the promise to not divulge or sell personal information.”
Morrisey said RadioShack’s desire to sell customer data would have violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act’s provisions against unfair or deceptive acts. RadioShack has 27 stores in West Virginia, according to its corporate website.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved General Wireless’ purchase of RadioShack’s entire e-commerce business, intellectual property, and remaining assets, including data on about 67 million transactions made in the past five years. That data includes information about the products sold and how they were paid for, but does not include customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal information.
General Wireless also will be allowed to retain 8.5 million email addresses of customers who specifically requested product information in the past two years. 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.
“This settlement is a victory for the consumers of West Virginia and other states,” Morrisey said. “The fact that so many attorneys general came together with one voice shows that protecting citizens’ private information is and should be a top priority.”