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Photo Credit Mike Mozart Flickr
Photo Credit Mike Mozart Flickr

[8/31/16]  Another day, another reminder that companies don’t really have to abide by promises to not share your personal information. They have a big “but” in their contracts.

Last week, it was WhatsApp and Facebook. We’ll get to that in a moment.

This week, millions of Sports Authority customers began receiving notices that their e-mail addresses and other data were about to be transferred to competitor Dick’s Sporting Goods. The transfer is legal because Sports Authority declared bankruptcy and sold off its spare parts this summer. Dick’s, smartly and legally, bought the customer information. According to the L.A. Times, a treasure trove of 25 million e-mails and some other data cost Dick’s $15 million. So you might not think your data is valuable, but someone sure does.

First, here is your need-to-know. The transfer is happening right now. You should look for an email from Sports Authority explaining the terms and how to opt-out.  Go to and opt out there if you wish.

(Update: Looks like you’ll need a code from the email, which is an unnecessary and consumer-unfriendly hurdle)

Again, Dick’s is within its rights to do this. And, thanks to the fine print, so is Sports Authority. On its website, the firm had included the language, “We may transfer your personal information in the event of a corporate sale, merger, acquisition, dissolution or similar event.”

But you probably didn’t know that. In fact, when Sports Authority asked for your email, you may have been told, “We won’t share it” by an employee or a web page. Consumers are often told that. It’s a lie, unless it includes the “but,” which…CONTINUE READING