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Borders Bust Means B&N May Get Your Shopping History 230

coondoggie writes "To perhaps 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."
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Borders Bust Means B&N May Get Your Shopping History

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  • bankruptcy creditors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @01:24PM (#37482020) Homepage

    This kind of decision would turn every (former) Border's customer into a potential creditor in the bankruptcy proceeding, since it becomes a cost and damage to that customer if the privacy terms already agreed to are changed. Imagine if even 1 person of Border's (former) customer were to file a petition with the bankruptcy court to enter as a creditor.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @01:46PM (#37482312) Homepage

    Borders went out of business because they were too pushy with the Rewards Card. I just wish now that I had not turned it down so I would have standing to file a petition to enter the bankruptcy proceeding as a defrauded creditor.

  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @02:04PM (#37482530)

    Does Amazon actually send you stuff you don't want? All I get from them are order and shipping confirmations, perhaps I clicked something about not sending me advertisements.

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @02:07PM (#37482570)

    If the company buying the data at auction is not held to the same privacy standards as the original, this means that shell companies can be formed to gather information under strict nondisclosure, then intentionally fold and provide the information without restriction and in violation of the original disclosure agreement.

  • by sabt-pestnu ( 967671 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @02:09PM (#37482598)

    I wonder if you could use the theory that the information isn't Borders', it's yours - and by breaking the contract under which it was provided, Borders no longer has a right to it.

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @02:37PM (#37482906)

    This became a well-settled area of law when lawsuits by Scientology drove the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy. The Scientologists were able to get a hold of CAN's confidential files in the BK, despite strenuous objections by many parties.

    If those files can't be protected, I don't see your book purchasing habits at Borders being particularly sarconsact.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @03:17PM (#37483262) Homepage

    The real question is whose asset is your information. Consider that your information is on loan, subject to conditions of contract being fulfilled, at any time you are entitled to recall your private data and in turn the company is no longer required to provide you will value based upon the loan of that data.

    The company has gone bankrupt and as such is no longer able to fulfil the conditions of contract the were the basis of the loan of your private data, failure to adhere to the conditions of contract means your private data must be returned to you ie. deleted.

    You private data can not be transferred upon bankruptcy under new conditions, because the bankrupt company now owes you a debt, your privacy because it no longer can provide contracted services.

  • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @06:53PM (#37485754)

    A 'privacy policy' is not a legally-binding agreement, and even if it was there's no guarantee that it would apply in bankruptcy.

    If so, then let me point out the elephant in the room:

    When are Google and Facebook going into bankruptcy and who's going to buy them?

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @06:58PM (#37485816)

    Just the list of valid e-mail addresses and credit card info is next to priceless in the wrong hands...

    One is left to wonder how long until some large enough criminal organization buys up this information at the bankruptcy auction.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.