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Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Thursday, July 13, 2000


Attorney General orders Toysmart.com, Boo.com, Fashionmall.com and Craftshop.com not to violate Texas consumers' privacy rights

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today instructed two Internet companies, Toysmart.com and Boo.com, to stop violating the privacy rights of Texas consumers by using their personal information in violation of privacy protection agreements. These Internet companies promised consumers that personal information submitted to these companies, such as their names, addresses, telephone and credit card numbers, would not be disclosed to third parties. The Internet companies have violated their privacy agreements by selling or attempting to sell consumers' personal information to other companies in the course of bankruptcy proceedings or asset sales.

Further, the Attorney General warned two other Internet companies, CraftShop.com and Fashionmall.com, not to take any action to violate Texas consumers' privacy rights. CraftShop.com has filed for bankruptcy, and information obtained by the Texas Attorney General indicates possible plans by CraftShop to request the bankruptcy court to approve the sale of consumer personal information. General Cornyn has asked CraftShop.com for assurances that it will strictly and fully comply with the privacy protection agreement and promises it made to Texas consumers, including not selling such personal information.

Cornyn also instructed Fashionmall.com not to use the personal information of Texas consumers and businesses it acquired from Boo.com. The Attorney General has information that Boo.com violated its privacy policy when it deceptively sold its customers' personal information to Fashionmall.com. The Attorney General's letter informs Fashionmall.com that it has no lawful right to use such information.

"Deceiving Texas consumers will not be tolerated," said Attorney General Cornyn. "I intend to hold these companies accountable if they violate their privacy agreements with consumers and otherwise break the law."

The Attorney General instructs each company to:

  • Not sell, assign, transmit or otherwise transfer to anyone the personal information submitted by Texas consumers to these companies;

  • Notify all bankruptcy courts about the privacy protection agreements and the fact that the Internet companies have no title, ownership or authority to sell this personal information;

  • Submit to the Attorney General, for his approval, and to send after approval, a notice to Texas consumers that fully informs consumers of their unconditional and unlimited right to protect their information and remove such information from the companies' computer records.

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act of the Texas Business and Commerce Code gives the Attorney General authority to act on behalf of Texas consumers to enforce and restore their privacy rights in their names, addresses, telephone numbers, credit card numbers and other personal information submitted to these Internet companies.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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