Many people have a lackluster attitude towards control of their private information. When the fact that companies maintain a great amount of details about their customers is mentioned people will often cite laws forcing those companies to protect that information. Those laws may make you feel nice and all but what do you do when the company goes bankrupt? That’s the concern facing former Borders customers right now:
To perhaps to no one’s surprise, Borders bookstore collected a ton of consumer information – such as personal data including records of particular book and video sales – during its normal course of business. Such personal information Borders promised never to share without consumer consent. But now that the company is being sold off as part of its bankruptcy filing, all privacy promises are off.
Reuters wrote this week that Barnes & Noble, which paid almost $14 million for Borders intellectual assets including customer information at auction last week, said it should not have to comply with certain customer privacy standards recommended by a third-party ombudsman. In court papers, Barnes & Noble said that its own privacy standards are sufficient to protect the privacy of customers whose information it won during the auction.
Sure the company that currently holds your private information may be magnanimous but what about the next holder of that information? Concerns such as this should be at the top of everybody’s list as personal information of any sort is valuable both for good and bad guys. If you believe any personal information held by companies about yourself is unimportant you’re simply not creative enough.