Blue Global Media, LLC has agreed to a $104 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that it illegally shared and sold sensitive information – including Social Security and back account numbers – on consumers that filled out loan applications.
The lead generation company, which operated websites such as 100dayloans.com and clickloans.net, promised consumers it would link applicants to the appropriate lenders providing the most favorable loan terms, but instead indiscriminately sold their information to others, often the first company that offered to pay for it. The FTC also alleged that the company and its CEO Christopher Kay didn’t investigate customer complaints that their information was misused.
In addition to the $104 million judgment, which was suspended because the defendants are not able to pony up, the company and Kay can no longer misrepresent their business and how they handle data and must vet and identify the businesses with whom they sell or share information. Consumers must also clearly consent to the disclosure of their information.
“Defendants shall establish, implement, and maintain procedures to verify the legitimate need for, and monitor the use of, consumers’ Sensitive Personal Information by any Person to whom Defendants sell, transfer, or disclose such information,” the order read.