Bloomberg News

Verizon Paying $7.4 Million to Settle U.S. Privacy Probe

September 03, 2014

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ:US) agreed to pay $7.4 million to end an investigation that found it failed to tell 2 million new customers of their privacy rights, the Federal Communications Commission said.

Verizon didn’t inform telephone customers in initial invoices or welcome letters that they may prevent personal information from being used in marketing campaigns, the agency said.

“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,” Travis LeBlanc, acting chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, said in a news release.

Verizon inadvertently omitted a required notice before sending wireline customers marketing materials for other Verizon services, Ed McFadden, a Washington-based spokesman, said in an e-mail.

“It did not involve a data breach or an unauthorized disclosure of customer information to third parties,” McFadden said.

Verizon has agreed to notify customers of their opt-out rights on every bill for the next three years, the FCC said in its news release.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at Elizabeth Wasserman, Steve Geimann

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