Verizon will pay a $7.4 million fine to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end a privacy investigation that accused the company of not informing two million landline customers that their personal information would be used for marketing purposes. The FCC new about the problem dating back to September 2012, and Verizon informed the FCC in January 2013.
If the new Verizon customers received privacy notices in their first bill, they would have learned about their ability to opt out of future marketing promotions. Verizon now is sending opt-out notices with every phone bill to customers.
"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, FCC enforcement chief, in a statement. "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."