back to article YOUR DATA could be SOLD in RadioShack's bankruptcy auction

Customer data is being considered as an asset for sale as part of RadioShack's Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction. The auctions, which took place earlier this week, are set to receive either approval or rejection from a federal bankruptcy court on Thursday. Among the assets available are 250+ stores in Mexico, just under 1,000 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give them the data

    As long as they write to each client requesting their full agreement, in advance ! Where no answer from the client is considered a refusal by default.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Give them the data

      Won't work that way... they'll weasel it into "opt-out" but in very very tiny, light gray ink on white paper. At the very bottom of the last page of the latest catalog and coupon mailing.

      Nice thought though and I wish things would work that way. Much like websites with tick-boxes already pre-checked and hidden in a pile of other text so they can claim you "checked the boxes".

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        Re: Give them the data

        This is where the law gets murky.

        First, the data on their customers is an asset. It has value and one could place a dollar amount on it. You can thank Silicon Valley VC types for this.

        So while the privacy laws may restrict how they use the data, it doesn't mean that the bankrupt company couldn't sell the data.

        In short, you're still screwed because they could always join this data to their existing data on you ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Give them the data

          If they want to fight this in the name of privacy, to get maybe some fuel for better privacy laws, then I'm all for it. However, this shit has been going on since before the invention of the computer, so getting a company to try and sell you more shit via e-mail or snail mail is just another day.

          "In short, you're still screwed..." Trust me, if PhoneShack RadioShack is involved at all, I already know I'm screwed. About ten years ago one of their "agents" tried to sell me a phone. I said no. Then he tried selling one to my underage son. The little bitch flinched before I wised up and knew I was on camera (I saw RED). However, what I didn't know until later was that what he just attempted was technically solicitation of a minor, and I could of sued the branch. If I wasn't so infuriated I probably would of realized that sooner. So, if something like that happens to you, keep your wits about you, don't wind up like me by going cave man and miss the obvious blow that will land harder than your fist (I'm actually getting pissed right now remembering it :-/ )

  2. Ben Rose

    El Reg sold my data...

    To NetApp and FalconStor...without permission.

    Pot meet kettle.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: El Reg sold my data...

      Not sure about my personal data but I never got any spam email from addresses here in the states until I started using El Reg. Then it was a deluge of English, French, German language double extension zip files from British addresses.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: El Reg sold my data...

        Well you DID read the pretty wide open privacy policy didn't you?

        The Register may collect, process and use your personal data (including your name, postal address, email address, telephone, mobile and fax numbers). We will do so to contact you regarding the services you have requested and/or to offer services to you, and/or to provide the services you have requested. This includes re-registration/renewal notifications, payment processing, surveys on improving our service to you and/or invitations to exhibitions, seminars and shows. The Register may employ trusted third party specialists to process and use your data on our behalf in order to deliver the products and services to you in a more efficient manner.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          El Reg Hacked? Re: El Reg sold my data...

          Serious question...

          First, any account could be hacked but if the OP created a clean email address for El Reg only, and is getting what appears to be malware... Leads one to think...

          1. Ben Rose

            Re: El Reg Hacked? El Reg sold my data...


            Serious answer...

            It wasn't just my email address but my name, company name, job role and direct line number that they passed on. The third parties confirmed from where they received the information and El Reg confirmed they did indeed supply it.

            I've received apologies from many of those involved but, in real terms, this is illegal marketing and fraud.

        2. Ben Rose

          Re: El Reg sold my data...

          Happy with all those Ts&Cs, just not happy when data gets passed to 3rd parties WITHOUT my permission and information passed to me about stuff I have NOT requested.

  3. James 51 Silver badge

    No one is safe if this kind of crap is allowed to past muster. You might have a trusted supplier but if they are sold to another company, get taken over or bankrupt the potential to reek havoc could be immense.

    1. Justicesays

      Possibly the smelliest kind of havoc I agree

      But you probably meant wreak...

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Possibly the smelliest kind of havoc I agree

        I did but when I read it back and saw the single entendre I decided to leave it.

  4. Fihart

    Customer data, no problem.

    Probably haven't shopped there since the advent of the internet !

    1. Gannettt

      Re: Customer data, no problem.

      This was Dixons in the UK as wel. I was desperate, needed batteries, total was 4.99 or something. "What is your phone number?"

      "Why do you need my phone number?"

      "I just need your phone number", and looked like he wanted to be somewhere else, like me!

      Capitalism works!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Customer data, no problem.

        01625 545 745 is a good number to give in such circumstances.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        Re: Customer data, no problem.

        Many PoS systems request email and phone # as a way to get more marketing data. You'd be surprised at how many people give it up without a fight.

        I can understand this for online orders, however... at the PoS where you're buying the product in person?

        In the States you can always give them <area code> 555-1212 (informtion) or any other 555 number which is never used as a real number.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    In the UK

    From rec.humour more than 25years ago:

    Do these guys at Radio Shack ever get on your nerves, asking you for a bunch of personal data when you're just there to buy something as simple as a couple AA batteries? I think we should inconvenience these people as much as they do us. A while ago I was in Enid buying a printer cable adaptor and the guy asked me for my name.

    "Ghosseindhatsghabyfaird-johnson," I replied.

    (blank look of confusion)

    "How do you spell that?" he asked, obviously not wanting to know.

    "With a hyphen," I clarified

    "Once more?" he asked


    "Could you please spell that?" he asked, glancing at the half dozen people waiting behind me.

    "Oh... just like it sounds," I said nonchalantly.

    Putting down "Johnson," he went on and asked about the address.

    "Washburn, Wisconsin, 14701 N.E. Wachatanoobee Parkway, Complex 3, Building O, Appt. 1382b," I replied.

    Almost through writing all this down, I said, "Or did you mean current address?"

    Stoping, he said, (becoming irritated) "Yes. Current address."

    "Diluthian Heights, Mississippi, 1372 S. Tinatonabee Avenue, Building 14C, Suite 2, Box 138201," I replied quite slowly.

    Waiting until he finished I said, "No, wait, it's NORTH Tinatonabee Avenue." Annoyed, he backed up and changed it.

    "I think," I interjected.

    1. PNGuinn

      Re: In the UK

      3, Pussycat Mews


      T42 24T.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: In the UK

        Sorry the "in the UK" title was from something else I was writing in another thread - forgot to edit it before posting.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I KNEW IT!!

    That "Battery Of The Month Club" was just a ploy to capture my data, circa 1973.

    Once upon a time, Radio Shack brought in a truck load of cheap flashlights that came with the red cone attachments like you'd use to marshall an aircraft. Could not keep them in stock. Hundreds and hundreds sold per week. Insane.

    1. Gannettt

      Re: I KNEW IT!!

      I bet the calendar was borderline pornographic!

  7. Eponymous Bastard


    I miss Tandy :( There was a store in Royal Parade in Plymouth where I could buy components and tools made out of something softer than chocolate. They used to send me a newspaper thing in the post every now and again with computer type stuff in it at crazy prices. Happy days.

    1. John McCallum

      Re: Tandy

      Ahh Tandy the shop where I first came across heat shrink tubing I think their last shop that I heard of was In Edinburgh in the early '90s.

  8. John Geek

    most of my cash transactions at Rat Shack, I gave my name as Johnny Cash, 831-555-1212

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I recall

    The last time I used them was pre internet for me and I have moved several times since - but that time they asked for my Thumb print I asked why and they said there was a problem with credit cards identification, I said NO (was quite shouty) and as they wouldn't budge left without buying and never returned to any of their shops. It was only a small pack of AA baterys

  10. Tom 13

    Standard General LP...and hopefully save 9,000 jobs.

    Nope. They can't actually do that. The economy either needs the 9,000 jobs, in which case they'll migrate even if they aren't with RS or SGLP, or they have to go in which case SGLP can't save them.

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