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Privacy alert: Borders is gone, but your info isn't

Posted by Mitch Lipka  October 4, 2011 07:00 AM

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If you ever gave your personal information to now-defunct Borders, chances are you received an email from rival Barnes and Noble sometime in the past few days.

The gist of the spiel from Barnes and Noble's CEO was that they want your business and they've got your information.

Most people usually read only about that far. So, I'll cut to the chase.Thanks to court intervention by the Federal Trade Commission and others, the judge in the Borders bankruptcy case required a 15-day opt-out period. If you don't want Barnes and Noble to know what videos you bought over the years at Borders or any personal information that chain collected, then you can just say no by going to this site.

You don't have to say no, but now at least you know that you can.

If you don't, this is what Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch says will happen:

"At Barnes & Noble we share your love of books — whatever shape they take," he wrote in his note to Borders customers. "We also take our responsibility to service communities by providing a local bookstore very seriously. In the coming weeks, assuming you don't opt-out, you'll be hearing from us with some offers to encourage you to shop our stores and try our NOOK products. We hope you'll give us a chance to be your bookstore."

Attorney General Martha Coakley also weighed in on this and offers more detail on what information will be conveyed if you allow your information to be sold to Barnes and Noble.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at


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