It was a sad day when RadioShack annnounced that it was declaring bankruptcy. The tech retail company is often considered a key source for the odds and ends required to keep your gadgets alive. However, after a series of store closures and declining profits, the company filed a Chapter 11. Despite the move, it looks like the company is using some unconventional means to make up for their costs.
These unconventional means include selling its collection of customer data. When RadioShack put all of its assets up for sale on Monday, it also included "the names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of millions of RadioShack customers," Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Hilco Streambank, RadioShack's intermediary, posted a list of all the assets that were for sale on Wednesday. While the data is present on the list, that doesn't necessarily mean that it will actually sell.
Two legal filings were submitted that would oppose the sale of the data. One of these legal filings came from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who told Bloomberg that since RadioShack made a explicit promise not to sell its 117 million-member customer base's data, it shouldn't be able to sell the data.
AT&T is also trying to stop RadioShack's sale of that personal data, as the wireless carrier believes that RadioShack doesn't have the rights to make such a move.
"AT&T worked with RadioShack to market phones, allowing RadioShack to build up a trove of information that includes, among other things, lists of AT&T customers. AT&T says it owns this data and wants RadioShack's records destroyed. Given that one bidder in the bankruptcy proceedings plans to co-brand some RadioShack locations as Sprint stores, AT&T is clearly concerned that the auction could give sensitive information to a competitor," reports Bloomberg.
This isn't the first time that a company has attempted to sell all of its data. Borders attempted the same thing after going bankrupt in 2011.
However, this practice of selling data after promising not to do so should raise red flags for future investors. The decision to sell personal data may harm RadioShack's potential for raising additional funds in the future.