Cable giants Time Warner and Comcast were hit with potential class-action lawsuits for allegedly retaining former customers' names, Social Security numbers and other personal data.
In a lawsuit filed last Friday, Illinois resident Steve Bayer and California resident Kandi Cook allege that Comcast violated the 1984 Cable Communications Policy Act, which requires cable companies to destroy subscribers' data once it's no longer needed. The federal law also requires cable companies to provide written notices to subscribers outlining how their personal information is retained or used.
Bayer says he canceled his Comcast subscription in 2007, while Cook says she canceled hers in 2004. They allege that they never received notices from Comcast detailing what information about them is still in the company's possession.
"There are numerous serious and troubling privacy issues implicated by Comcast's practice of retaining and misusing their former customers' personal information, including the risk of identity theft," they allege.
Cook also argues that Comcast violated California state laws, including a law requiring businesses to destroy customers' personal data once it's no longer needed. The same day that Cook and Bayer sued Comcast, California resident Todd Burton filed a similar lawsuit against his former cable provider, Time Warner.
Both cases are pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.