"In a sanction that can serve as a wake-up to the financial industry, Verizon Communications last week agreed to pay $7.4 million to end an investigation that found it failed to tell two million new customers about their privacy rights before using their information for marketing purposes, the Federal Communications Commission said.
The privacy probe highlights the vigilance that must be paid to consumer privacy rights to meet regulators’ requirements. Although the financial industry mostly answers to different regulators, it too is subject to laws and regulations protecting the privacy of its customers.
The FCC said its investigation found that these phone customers, starting in 2006, did not receive proper privacy notices in their first bills. The notices would have told consumers how to opt out of having their personal information used to tailor marketing offers, which the company later sent to them. Compounding the lapse, the FCC learned, Verizon failed to discover these problems until September 2012 and failed to notify the FCC of these problems until January 18, 2013 — 126 days later.
take that - you didn't comply - you pay