Archive for Thursday, July 8, 2004

Educational firm settles privacy complaint

July 8, 2004


— The company that sells the popular "Hooked on Phonics" reading instruction program settled a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission that it violated its own promises against disclosing personal information about customers, including their children, U.S. regulators said Wednesday.

Gateway Learning Corp., of Santa Ana, Calif., agreed to pay $4,608 to the government -- its profit from the disclosure of customer information -- and agreed not to misrepresent its privacy policy to customers.

The complaint reflects government concerns about companies that collect personal details about customers under one set of privacy rules then later amend the rules without warning to permit broader disclosure.

The FTC said Gateway Learning promised not to disclose customer information, then rented to marketers access to information about its customers.

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