Dick Smith can legally sell customer database

By Alicia Burrow

A Dick Smith store in Britomart, Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig
A Dick Smith store in Britomart, Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Electronic giant Dick Smith is raising concern for consumers once again, this time it's privacy issues.

After collapsing in January, the chain announced it's closing all its stores, receivers Ferrier Hodgson couldn't find a suitable buyer.

Now an ad has been placed in the Australian Financial Review seeking expressions of interest in the company's intellectual data, concerning customers.

But Lawyers say it would be legal for it's receivers to sell the database, despite an email to customers from Dick Smith stating that wouldn't happen.

Speaking on behalf of the receivers, Bell Gully's Tania Goatley says it would be well within the law.

Options may include selling group data that doesn't identify any one person, or obtaining consent from customers before the sale goes ahead.

However Consumer New Zealand's recommending Dick Smith customers to unsubscribe from it's mailing list.

Chief executive Sue Chetwin says customers may be able to stop their information from being sold if they opt out of the mailing list before a sale goes through, if one does go ahead.

The Privacy Commission investigated the advert earlier today and has been assured by Ferrier Hodgson it will fully comply with it's obligations under the New Zealand and Australian Privacy Acts.

- Newstalk ZB

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