Privacy Gaffe Costs Victoria’s Secret $50,000

Women’s apparel cataloger/retailer Victoria’s Secret agreed on Oct. 20 to pay $50,000 in costs and penalties for leaving the names, addresses, and order information of more than 560 customers exposed on its Website to those who could figure out how to call up customer records.

New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer had accused Victoria’s Secret of breaking New York state deceptive business and fraudulent advertising laws, because the error violated the privacy policy stated on the company’s site.

Victoria’s Secret inadvertently exposed the information between August and November 2002. In November, a customer in Niantic, CT, found the gaffe and reported it to Victoria’s Secret, which fixed it within a few days. Victoria’s Secret would only make a formal statement on the matter: “We take issues of maintaining our customers’ privacy very seriously. When we became aware of the matter we addressed it and worked cooperatively with the appropriate authorities.”

In addition to payments to the 560 customers, the settlement calls for Victoria’s Secret to establish and maintain an information security program to protect personal information, establish management oversight and employee training programs, and hire an external auditor to annually monitor compliance with the security program.

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.