Borders customers given more time to stop personal info transfer

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 19, 2011


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley alerted former customers of Borders bookstores on Wednesday that they now have more time to stop the transfer of their personal information to Barnes & Noble.

The bookstore has also made it easier for consumers to opt out through their website. Borders recently filed for bankruptcy and received approval from bankruptcy court to sell its customer information to Barnes & Noble bookstores.

"Former customers of Borders whose information is being transferred to Barnes & Noble now have more time and more options to take action," Coakley said. "Please make sure to closely read the emails you receive from Barnes & Noble and act quickly if you wish to opt-out."

Consumers whose information is being transferred to Barnes & Noble should receive two e-mails from the company - an initial opt-out e-mail describing the transfer of customer information and a supplementary e-mail that clearly describes the categories of personal information that are being transferred to Barnes & Noble from Borders. Individuals will have until Nov. 2 to opt out.

The information being transferred to Barnes & Noble includes e-mail addresses from customers who requested to receive special offers from Borders; information collected from customers in the Borders Rewards loyal program, including customer name, address, e-mail address and purchase history, which will not include the titles of video materials purchased by customers; and information customers shared with the Borders website, including name, address and e-mail address.

The information being transferred does not include credit card or financial account information. All of that information will not be sold and is being securely deleted.

The opt-out mechanism on Barnes & Noble's website will be modified to include additional fields for full name, address and phone number to allow individuals without e-mail addresses on file to opt out. The information consumers enter on Barnes & Noble's website and the information given to Borders must be an exact match for the opt out to work.

If a former Borders customer opts out via Barnes & Noble's website by entering an email address and there is no matching e-mail address in the database, the customer will receive a follow-up e-mail that indicates "no match" and the customer will have until the latter of November 2 or 24 hours after receive of the e-mail to attempt the process again.

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