Ouch – Verizon used the contact information of some two million new customers for marketing purposes without getting proper permission from the customers themselves. The result is a pricy consent decree with the FCC.
As part of the agreement to settle the matter, Verizon will make a $7.4M contribution to the US Treasury.
Consumers are supposed to be given a clear opportunity to opt out of inclusion in any marketing operation, and have an expectation that their privacy will be protected. Verizon’s failure to supply notification is what led to this major infraction.
In today’s increasingly connected world, it is critical that every phone company honor its duty to inform customers of their privacy choices and then to respect those choices,” said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “It is plainly unacceptable for any phone company to use its customers’ personal information for thousands of marketing campaigns without even giving them the choice to opt out.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Broadcast fines rarely go further than the $20K range, and that’s usually when two or more small infractions coincide and inflate the total. But make a mistake with somebody on the no-call list, on a cell phone or with a fax machine and watch out!