Charter sued for selling personal customer data without consent

Charter Communications sign (use this one)
The plaintiffs are alleging that Charter violated Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act. (Charter)

Charter Communications has been hit with a class action suit in St. Louis for selling subscribers’ personally identifiable information.

According to the St. Louis Record, which obtained a copy of the Eastern District of Missouri court complaint filed on April 4, subscriber “A. Michael” said that between 2011 and 2013, Charter sold information such as names and addresses to unknown companies without customer consent.

“The suit is meritless," Charter said in a statement. "Charter does not sell its customers’ personally identifiable information in any form.”

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RELATED: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T insist they won’t sell browsing history, despite privacy rollback

The plaintiffs are alleging that Charter violated Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act. Michael claims he was not provided with a copy of Charter’s privacy policy, which is required under that law. The complaint also said Charter failed to obtain written consent to sell the information or provide an opt-out provision. 

Notably, Charter rendered a blog post on March 31 stating that it doesn't sell the private information of its customers. 

Just as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon stated in similar messaging, Charter said the recent overturning by the Republican-led Congress of Obama-era FCC rules regulating ISP privacy does not change its position.

"Protecting the privacy of our consumers is one of our most important responsibilities as a broadband provider," Charter said. "Recent activity by Congress does not change, or weaken, Charter’s commitment to the protection of our customers’ online privacy, or our rigorous privacy practices and policies. To be clear it also does not change the way in which Charter collects, uses or shares customer information."

UPDATED: This story was updated to reflect comment from Charter. 

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