Gratis Internet, a company that is accused of selling consumers’ e-mail addresses despite guarantees to the contrary, is being sued by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the Associated Press reports via Yahoo News.
On Thursday, Spitzer filed a civil suit in the state’s Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging that Gratis sold the e-mail addresses of millions of consumers who submitted personal information in exchange for free gifts like iPods, DVDs and video games, according to the AP.
Gratis was not immediately available for comment, the AP reports, but in a statement issued in response to a related lawsuit filed on March 13, the company said it took no part in inappropriate practices.
Datran Media, one of the companies that allegedly purchased information from Gratis to use for spam distribution, was sued in the aforementioned case, also filed by Spitzer, and it agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle. For related news coverage, read Co. to Settle Spam Case for $1.1M.
“Unless checked now, companies that collect and sell information on consumers will continue to find ways to erode the basic standards that protect privacy in the Internet age,” Spitzer said, the AP reports.
According to Spitzer, Gratis told consumers who submitted information, “We will never give out, sell or lend your name or information to anyone,” and, “We will never lend, sell or give out for any reason your e-mail address or personal information,” the AP reports.
Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer for more updated news coverage.