March 27, 2015 / 1:16 AM / 5 years ago

Shoppers' personal info not part of RadioShack sale: ombudsman

(Reuters) - Personal information gathered by RadioShack Corp RSHCQ.PK from shoppers is not included in its sale, the consumer privacy ombudsman in the electronics retailer’s bankruptcy case said in response to concerns shared by several states that the data could be sold.

If that changes, Elise Frejka also said in a letter on Wednesday to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Linehan Shannon she would file a report with recommendations based on specific facts and circumstances.

Her letter came as Oregon and Pennsylvania on Wednesday joined Texas and Tennessee in objecting to RadioShack selling names, email addresses and other personal information gathered from shoppers.

Personally identifiable information of 117 million consumers could be made available in RadioShack’s proposed sale, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a filing that urged stripping out information such as telephone numbers and mailing addresses from assets.

In a separate filing, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said selling the information would violate parts of her state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week objected to the sale of personally identifiable information and requested RadioShack’s buyer be required to set a separate price for it.

Paxton said RadioShack’s privacy policy for shoppers included an “unequivocal” provision the information would not be sold. Its sale runs afoul of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, he added.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III filed a supporting objection on Monday, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expressed concern on Wednesday.

“We are committed to taking appropriate action to protect New York consumers,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

Officials in Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia are also concerned, according to Paxton’s office.

RadioShack, forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February by competition from online and bricks-and-mortar rivals, was not immediately available to comment.

A private auction for RadioShack began on Monday. Its preferred bidder is the hedge fund Standard General, which would keep about 1,740 of RadioShack’s more than 4,000 stores open as part of a tie-up with wireless operator Sprint Corp.

Salus Capital Corp, one of RadioShack’s lenders, says it has submitted a rival bid with three liquidators offering $271 million in cash.

Salus was not available for comment on RadioShack’s shopper information and a Standard General spokesman declined to comment.

The case is In Re: RadioShack Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 15-10197

Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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