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23 September 2011 @ 12:08 am
Borders asset sale to B&N delayed due to customer privacy concerns  
Reuters: Borders' IP sale to Barnes & Noble on hold
(Reuters) - Borders Group Inc's plan to sell customer information to former rival Barnes & Noble Inc hit a snag on Thursday when a judge raised questions about the company's privacy policy.

Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn said at a hearing he needed more time to decide whether the policy covers longer-standing customers and whether certain customers must give their consent before the sale can close.
While Borders' current privacy policy, implemented in May 2008, makes clear customer information can be sold, questions remain as to whether customers who joined Borders' database before then are subject to the policy and whether they must consent to a sale.

A third-party ombudsman issued a report concluding that certain customers must be given the choice to opt out of the sale.

[For reference: Borders.com privacy policy, dated May 27, 2008]
KanojoNoCarrera on September 23rd, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)
So, how far will they "allow" BR members to be given the consent option? When we were doing the paper/sticker deal? The "sign-up sheet?"
ron_newman on September 23rd, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
The Bloomberg News article about this quotes the bankruptcy judge asking this of Borders' lawyers:

"Does Borders have the ability to e-mail blast to all customers in its database, essentially giving them the right to opt out of any sale or transfer?"

That strikes me as a reasonable solution to this issue, if there's anyone left at Borders to send out such a final spam. I doubt most Borders customers would mind becoming B&N customers, but this would give those who do the opportunity to refuse.

Edited at 2011-09-23 12:19 pm (UTC)
booksatborders on September 23rd, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Borders never directly sent email
All of the Borders Rewards customer emails were sent by a private company who Borders hired to manage the email marketing.
(Anonymous) on September 23rd, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
I don't see why not..
We were given the option to opt out of Borders Reward Perks when it converted to whatever (O- online something?) last month, and I haven't seen an email from it since.
(Anonymous) on September 23rd, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
I thought according to BR's privacy policy our information was private and never going to be sold?
ron_newman on September 23rd, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
the policy includes:

"Disclosures in connection with acquisitions or divestitures. Circumstances may arise where for strategic or other business reasons Borders decides to sell, buy, merge or otherwise reorganize its own or other businesses. Such a transaction may involve the disclosure of personal and other information to prospective or actual purchasers, or receiving it from sellers. It is Borders' practice to seek appropriate protection for information in these types of transactions. In the event that Borders or all of its assets are acquired in such a transaction, customer information would be one of the transferred assets."
(Anonymous) on September 26th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
it's a done deal
the sale has been approved:


ron_newman on September 27th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: it's a done deal
Thanks. I don't know why that didn't automatically become a link. It's worth a new post, which I'll make shortly.