Cox Sued for Toxic Dumping, Improper Handing of Private Data
by Karl Bode
Cox Communications is being sued for illegally dumping potentially-toxic hardware as well as the casual treatment of private consumer data. According to a lawsuit filed last month (pdf) by the state attorney general in San Diego Superior Court, Cox employees in California threw away customer records without shredding or erasing personal information.
The 32-page lawsuit doesn't specify precisely which consumer data may have been exposed.
Local news outlets like 7 San Diego say they've had no luck in ferreting out precisely what data may have been compromised--or how many Cox subscribers may have had their private data exposed.
The lawsuit also claims Cox routinely ignored state health, safety and environmental protection laws, by wrongly disposing of old equipment at offices at various locations in California. According to the lawsuit, Cox failed to recycle or safely dispose of batteries, electronic equipment, chemicals and other hazardous waste, including used cable, computer and phone equipment turned in by departing Cox customers.
Cox, for its part, hasn't been willing to publicly comment on the case outside of claiming that "there was no data breach and we were compliant in the appropriate disposal of personal customer information." The company says it is "cooperating fully" with the Attorney General's investigation of the improper waste disposal and has made employee policy changes to ensure all used equipment is properly and legally discarded in the future.