Comcast mistakenly published the names, phone numbers, and addresses of almost about 200,000 customers who paid per 30 days fees to make their numbers unlisted. The names and numbers were made available on Ecolisting, a list run by means of Comcast, and picked up by means of third-party directories. After discovering the mistake, Comcast shut Ecolisting down, gave $100 credit score to affected customers, and instructed them that they may be able to trade their phone numbers at no charge.
This is similar to a mistake inside the early 2010s that led to Comcast paying a $33 million settlement in 2015.
The Denver Put up reported last week:
For years, customers have had the facility to pay a small sum per 30 days to verify their phone numbers and personal knowledge keep off of telephone and online directories. Then again in January and February, 1000’s of other folks across the country received letters from Xfinity telling them the company had inadvertently published non-public knowledge on Comcast’s online checklist, Ecolisting.com. The issue affected 2 % of Comcast’s 9.9 million voice customers, the company discussed.
Comcast charged $3.50 a month for the number-privacy serve as in Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote. Customers somewhere else apparently paid additional—some Comcast consumers on a toughen dialogue board reported having to pay $5.50 per 30 days.
In a commentary to Ars, Comcast discussed, “We have corrected this issue for our identified customers, apologized to them for this error, and given them an additional $100 credit. We are working with our customers directly to address this issue and help make it right, and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
In its notice to customers, Comcast stated that its mistake would in all probability result in phone numbers being available in third-party directories:
Please follow that even though Comcast quickly removed your knowledge from Ecolisting.com, there is a possibility that your knowledge used to be as soon as accessed by means of visitors to the Ecolisting.com internet web page while it used to be as soon as available. In consequence, this information may well be available on online directories or via other public property that Comcast does not keep an eye on. If your knowledge turns out in online directories, similar to whitepages.com and yp.com, you should want to consider contacting those online directories immediately. It is going to even be in point of fact useful to change your Xfinity Voice telephone amount.
Customers express justified anger
A few customers on the Comcast toughen dialogue board discussed they envisage to report courtroom instances with their state attorney fundamental’s place of business. “Without going into details on this forum, Xfinity has compromised the safety of myself and my family by publishing my identifying information for others to see,” one of those customers wrote. “Simply providing a $100 credit is not good enough considering the mess I am going to have to deal with. People have the right to be upset considering they were paying for service that was not provided, I suspect that Xfinity is liable.”
Each and every different purchaser wrote, “I’m now published all over the Web because of their error.”
In 2015, Comcast agreed to a $33 million settlement with the California state executive after disclosing unlisted phone numbers “over a two-year period.” If this is the case, Comcast paid $100 each to 75,000 customers who paid for unlisted service, for an entire of $7.5 million, and refunded more than $2 million worth of fees those customers paid for unlisted service. Comcast moreover paid “$25 million in penalties and investigative costs” to the California Department of Justice and the Public Utilities Charge.
An Ecolisting FAQ says that “Comcast does not sell customer data for marketing purposes,” alternatively it notes that “the contents of the Ecolisting directories are publicly accessible.” The internet web page homepage comprises a notice that says, as of March 5, “we will no longer make available any directory listing information about our Xfinity Voice customers through ecolisting.com, directory assistance, or print publications. This includes names, phone numbers, and addresses. We also will not share any of this information with third-party publishers.”