It seems that back in 2006, Verizon might have used information they had on their customers to create targeted marketing campaigns without informing them of their right to opt out from these campaigns. However it seems that it was only in 2013 that the FCC had discovered Verizon’s violation, which was thanks to Verizon’s own representatives who discovered it a little too late.
According to Travis LeBlanc, the Acting Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau via the FCC’s website, “In today’s increasingly connected world, it is critical that every phone company honor its duty to inform customers of their privacy choices and then to respect those choices. It is plainly unacceptable for any phone company to use its customers’ personal information for thousands of marketing campaigns without even giving them the choice to opt out.”
The FCC report also goes on to state that Verizon had neglected to generate the legally-required opt out messages from their campaign, which they estimated had gone out to over 2 million of their customers since 2006, and because of this, the FCC and Verizon have agreed upon a $7.4 million fine.
Granted Verizon’s profit in Q2 2014 was at $4.32 billion, it’s still a lot of money and at the same time we guess it also sends a message to other carriers that they should be more careful next time. Verizon has also agreed to take more rigorous steps in informing customers and will place this information on customer bills for the next 3 years.