Hooked on Phonics Sued by the FTC

Although they haven't admitted to doing anything wrong, and can't seem to be reached for comment, the Gateway Learning Corporation, makers of Hooked on Phonics, have been fined by the Federal Trade Commission for selling private information about its customers, including children.

"The incident came to light last year when a Washington Post reporter spotted an advertisement in a marketing trade publication offering the customer list for "rent," at a price of $95 per 1,000 names. By renting the information, Gateway would allow the firms to contact its consumers, while still maintaining control over the data."

HoP's privacy policy originally stated that they would not share such information. However, when they changed the policy, they neglected to notify customers. The FTC has since ordered Hooked on Phonics to stop selling customer information and fined them an amount equal to their profits from doing so.

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