NASIR: All right. Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. This is our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha.
MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.
NASIR: And thank you for joining us once again for a series of information and events which you can take in your consideration.
MATT: A series of letters that form into words which form into sentences and who knows what will happen from there…
NASIR: Which eventually forms a podcast episode.
MATT: Yeah, hopefully. We’ll see.
NASIR: At least that’s the objective.
MATT: If we have our personal data after this episode then we’ll have a podcast episode.
NASIR: Well, this personal data thing is crazy. I know you’re just leading into your transition but we’re talking about this because it’s somewhat dated. Everyone remembers the whole RadioShack bankruptcy and then basically sold everything from A to Z. We covered a little bit about it but what was not as publicized is what happened to the actual private data that they’ve collected for over 100 million customers, including everything from social security numbers to credit card numbers to everything in-between.
MATT: Well, luckily, for most people, they hadn’t shopped at RadioShack for a very long time so maybe there’s no personal data on file.
NASIR: Most of the people are probably dead by now of those 100 million customers.
MATT: It’s been at least ten years since I’ve been inside – probably fifteen years since I went to a RadioShack.
NASIR: You know those times where you just need a cable or something like that? I was giving a presentation in the middle of nowhere – when I say middle of nowhere, I didn’t know where I was – and I needed a cable so I had someone go in looking around and they ended up going to RadioShack and they brought in the wrong cable and they went back two or three times and they ended up not having the cable, of course, that I needed. I was like, “What’s the point of this store? I don’t get it.”
MATT: Well, at least it wasn’t your data. You had somebody else pay for it or buy it.
NASIR: And that’s 85 out of… you said 100?
NASIR: You know, what’s interesting about these privacy policies that are pretty much required – you know, California is one of the first and I think we’ve talked about it in the past, it’s one of the first states to actually require privacy policies – you can pretty much put whatever you want. A lot of times, like Matt said, they’ll say, “Okay, we won’t sell your data unless we are acquired,” or something like that – that’s best case scenario. But, a lot of times, you can just say that, “Yeah, we’re going to use your data and we’re going to use it for marketing purposes,” or they word it in such a way that may not be as egregious but, at the end of the day, allows them to do what they want.
NASIR: Which I think is not unreasonable because, you know, when you surf and enter in forms and so forth, it’s hard to kind of go through that every time you do so. I mean, I know what I’d do. I’d just assume that it’s not going to be private. They’re going to share the information so, depending upon what information I’m giving them, I just have to have that expectation.
NASIR: But I imagine that, you know, as we joke of people not going to the stores, I assume people didn’t really shop on the website either so I assume most of those, I think it’s 117 million customers were in-store customers, I would assume. I think I see Verizon or some of the other cellular phone companies also joining in that motion because I think perhaps RadioShack was selling phones and so forth so maybe the data they collected was in connection to that as well so that may have played a part. But what’s interesting is Texas is involved in that. Of all states, California actually has a right of privacy within their constitution. There’s no such equivalent in Texas yet it’s not the only one that they’ve actually been objected to – not just RadioShack. They’ve also gotten involved with other areas of interest where confidential information – or I should say privacy information – was actually being transferred in connection with a sale or bankruptcy.
NASIR: Yeah, and it’s just like RadioShack. Like, they could have had the best privacy ever but then, if they put out a sign saying, “We do not sell our mailing list,” then that’s enough to cause a big problem.
NASIR: I just love bashing RadioShack just for fun. It’s an easy target, I suppose.
MATT: I did look and they still have “RadioShack is open and here to stay! Over 1,700 convenient locations.”
MATT: There’s one right across from the gas station that I think I’ve mentioned before that I go to pretty frequently and I just don’t really see anyone there. It’s next to a 24-hour Subway which I don’t know who is going to that either at 24 hours a day. So, lots of interesting things on the other side of the road.
MATT: Yeah, and that’s the thing, that’s what I always come back to. People go crazy about that every time. They go, “Oh, how come this happens?” It’s like, “Well, you agreed to it whether you read it or not and, if you really have a problem with it, there’s ways you can have that stopped and you just have to do it,” and then people are right back on there, not complaining. I mean, a few I’m sure actually follow through with it. But people like to complain as we’ve detailed many times on this podcast.
NASIR: That’s right. Well, okay. If you want to send any complaints about our podcast, send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us!
MATT: Keep it sound and keep it smart.