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Can Business Bankruptcies Put Your Personal Information Up for Sale?

Can Business Bankruptcies Put Your Personal Information Up for Sale? - The Beacon


By: Jason

Can Business Bankruptcies Put Your Personal Information Up for Sale?

Your Better Business Bureau (BBB) encourages consumers to protect their identity. This includes everything from protecting your passwords to checking your credit reports regularly. It also includes checking the privacy policy of a company or institution you are considering doing business with. The privacy policy is meant to inform you of the ways that the business will use your information. Your information is a valuable asset not just to identify thieves, but also to legitimate marketing firms. Selling customer information has become an industry, and reading the privacy policy can help you avoid unwanted solicitations from other businesses.

But what happens if the business goes bankrupt and has to sell its assets including your information? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release dated 5/23/14 regarding the bankruptcy of ConnectEdu which has among its assets personal information gathered from students and parents for career advisement purposes. The FTC states it has sent a letter to the bankruptcy court expressing concerns that clients are not getting the opportunity to delete their data before the assets are sold. The FTC claims this violates ConnectEdu’s privacy policy. The FTC also says that this could be a violation of the FTC Act and Bankruptcy Code.

When you are considering providing your personal information to a business, even an educational or medical institution, be sure to review their privacy policy information. If you discover that a business or institution that has your information is closing or filing bankruptcy, look for the opportunity to delete your information. If you do not receive a notice, you may consider contacting the court to see if you can delete your information.

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Jason was the Manager of Dispute Resolution Services with the BBB and primary handled consumer complaints. He also assisted consumers with business inquiries. He was a regular contributor to the blog.