(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today released a statement on the sale of Borders Group Inc.’s consumer database to Barnes & Noble, informing customers of steps to prevent the use of their information for commercial purposes and calling for stronger consumer protection.
Today, Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch e-mailed the 48-million-person list informing consumers of the sale and requesting that customers allow Barnes & Noble to keep the data they’ve purchased. The bankruptcy sale was approved [by a New York court] last week.
“Profiting from personal, sometimes sensitive consumer information – illustrated by this regrettable arrangement – is spreading perniciously. This settlement points to a clear and urgent need for stronger and stringent protections for consumer privacy. The settlement reached between Borders and Barnes and Noble is wholly inadequate and unacceptable. Consumers are unprotected unless they explicitly opt out. Instead, their specific consent should be requested. In addition, Barnes and Noble - and other corporations acquiring huge volumes of consumer information – must demonstrate safeguards to prevent breaches of such data.”
Borders customers would like to opt out of the Barnes and Noble list can do so by visiting www.bn.com/borders by October 29. Further information about the sale and the opt out can be found on Blumenthal’s website.