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Comcast agrees to pay $33.4 million for publishing 'unlisted' customer info

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Comcast and the state of California have reached a settlement that will see the company pay out $33.4 million for publishing customer contact data that was meant to remain unlisted from public view. $25 million of that will be split between California's General Fund and the Attorney General’s office, with the remaining $8.4 million directed to refunds for the roughly 75,000 consumers who paid Comcast to keep their info private.

Comcast's phone business failed pretty badly at that, it turns out. As the California Public Utilities Commission notes:

As a result of Comcast’s unauthorized disclosure and publication, the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of these unlisted and non-published customers became available on Comcast’s online directory, in one or more rural telephone books, and via nationwide directory assistance.

Aside from being refunded, those customers will also receive $100 each as a "sorry" for the inconvenience. This'll also remain a headache for Comcast for at least the next three years, with the company now obligated "to reform its practices relating to non-published consumer information." Comcast must file an annual report with CPUC to verify that it's complying with the settlement's terms.