Barnes&Noble acquires Borders’ Customer’s Databases

by Taylor G
Summary:

In mid-July Borders announced that they would give up on trying to auction their business to potential buyers and be forced to file for bankruptcy.  Barnes & Noble is stepping in and purchasing Borders’ database with more than 48 million customer’s names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails.  Now there was arguing in court over the customers’ rights to privacy, the lawyers in the case agreed to email customers and give them 15 days to opt out of the system.  Also the parties in the sale also agreed to split the cost of an advertisement on ‘USA Today’ giving customers information on how to opt out of the system.  Barnes & Noble’s own privacy policy will govern the information once it’s transfered, and they have agreed to purge any information that they deem unnecessary.  Barnes & Noble almost bought all of Borders’ intellectual assets, including customer information for $14 million.  But a judge held up the deal so that privacy concerns could be addressed.  Barnes & Noble said that “it should not have to comply with certain customer privacy standards recommended by a third-party ombudsman.  Later B&N said that their own privacy standards were sufficient enough to protect the privacy of their customers.

 

Reflection:

I am personally torn between being upset over them giving away personal information.  I think that their might be benefits to having their databases given to a new competitor but their are also consequences.  We are living in a day and age where privacy is becoming something that our generation will have to discuss for the future.  Everything we do nowadays can be tracked and traced.  All we need is another company passing our personal information off for a monetary gain.  I personally wouldn’t mind if they weren’t making $15 million off of our personal information.  I would also like to know the benefits to them having our personal information and become more aware of what was going on, not by advertising on USA Today and expecting us to have watched that show and/or heard about it through word of mouth, all while assuming we received an email about these regards, and expecting us to react about this issue within a 15 day period.  I personally find this ridiculous, first to make money, and then secondly to expect us to deny our personal information within 15 days.

Cooney, M. (2011, September 27). Borders customers will have to opt out after barnes & noble acquires database. Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/240708/borders_customers_will_have_to_opt_out_after_barnes_and_noble_acquires_database.html

 

2 thoughts on “Barnes&Noble acquires Borders’ Customer’s Databases”

  1. I am not sure this poses as much of a concern as we all might think. yes its bad that they are selling their users information but have you ever read the terms and conditions of the things you sign up to? theyre long and involved so im sure they are not violating their users terms that they agreed to. is it right, no. but did the users agree to it, probably.

  2. The selling of information is extremely commonplace in web sector. It is almost always just marketing data, so why not let the marketers efficiently use whatever resources they have is how I tend to feel.

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