Comcast accidentally published 200,000 “unlisted” phone numbers
March 12, 2020
Comcast mistakenly published the names, phone quantities, and addresses of virtually 200,000 clients who compensated month to month service fees to make their figures unlisted. The names and numbers were being produced out there on Ecolisting, a listing operate by Comcast, and picked up by 3rd-party directories. Following getting the error, Comcast shut Ecolisting down, gave $100 credits to impacted clients, and suggested them that they can adjust their cell phone figures at no cost.
This is related to a oversight in the early 2010s that resulted in Comcast paying a $33 million settlement in 2015.
The Denver Write-up documented final 7 days:
For a long time, customers have had the means to spend a tiny sum for every thirty day period to make sure their mobile phone quantities and personalized details keep on being off of telephone and on the net directories. But in January and February, hundreds of men and women throughout the country obtained letters from Xfinity telling them the business had inadvertently posted private details on Comcast’s on the net listing, Ecolisting.com. The concern affected 2 per cent of Comcast’s 9.9 million voice prospects, the company said.
Comcast charged $3.50 a month for the quantity-privacy feature in Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote. Buyers somewhere else evidently compensated more—some Comcast customers on a assistance discussion board claimed possessing to pay $5.50 per thirty day period.
In a assertion to Ars, Comcast said, “We have corrected this concern for our discovered consumers, apologized to them for this error, and offered them an additional $100 credit rating. We are doing work with our clients specifically to tackle this situation and assistance make it proper, and are getting ways to avert this from occurring once more.”
In its see to consumers, Comcast acknowledged that its mistake may final result in phone figures currently being out there in 3rd-get together directories:
Be sure to be aware that even even though Comcast quickly taken off your information and facts from Ecolisting.com, there is a possibility that your information and facts was accessed by website visitors to the Ecolisting.com site while it was obtainable. As a consequence, this information could be obtainable on on the internet directories or via other public sources that Comcast does not handle. If your information appears in on line directories, these as whitepages.com and yp.com, you may perhaps wish to think about contacting those people on the internet directories right. It may also be highly recommended to transform your Xfinity Voice phone quantity.
Customers specific justified anger
A few clients on the Comcast support discussion board claimed they planned to file issues with their condition attorney general’s business. “Devoid of heading into particulars on this forum, Xfinity has compromised the safety of myself and my relatives by publishing my figuring out information for many others to see,” one particular of people customers wrote. “Simply just furnishing a $100 credit history is not superior adequate considering the mess I am going to have to deal with. Folks have the correct to be upset thinking of they have been shelling out for provider that was not presented, I suspect that Xfinity is liable.”
A different buyer wrote, “I’m now printed all more than the Net mainly because of their mistake.”
In 2015, Comcast agreed to a $33 million settlement with the California condition government following disclosing unlisted phone quantities “above a two-year period.” In that situation, Comcast compensated $100 each and every to 75,000 consumers who paid out for unlisted services, for a complete of $7.5 million, and refunded far more than $2 million value of costs these customers paid out for unlisted company. Comcast also paid out “$25 million in penalties and investigative charges” to the California Department of Justice and the General public Utilities Commission.
An Ecolisting FAQ suggests that “Comcast does not market customer data for marketing and advertising purposes,” but it notes that “the contents of the Ecolisting directories are publicly accessible.” The site homepage includes a see that suggests, as of March 5, “we will no longer make out there any directory listing facts about our Xfinity Voice consumers via ecolisting.com, directory guidance, or print publications. This contains names, telephone figures, and addresses. We also will not share any of this data with third-occasion publishers.”