Acxiom, JetBlue Respond to Privacy Allegations

Share this content:
While Acxiom Corp. denied any wrongdoing, JetBlue Airways Corp. said it made a mistake when it provided data to a third-party contractor for a government security project.

In a Sept. 23 letter to the airline's customers, David Neeleman, CEO of Forest Hills, NY-based JetBlue, acknowledged that the firm had disclosed customer names, addresses, telephone numbers and flight information to Torch Concepts Inc. in the summer of 2002 at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense.

However, he also pledged that such a disclosure would not occur again. His statement said in part, "We remain as firmly committed as ever to the goal of making our nation and its skies more secure; however, in hindsight we realize that we made a mistake."

Neeleman went on to say that JetBlue had retained Deloitte & Touche to audit the firm's privacy policy and practices.

Acxiom, Little Rock, AR, admitted providing Torch Concepts, Huntsville, AL, with data for the project, but it maintained in a statement that it had not violated its privacy policy in doing so.

"Acxiom denies the assertion that we violated our privacy policy in relation to the processing we performed for Torch Concepts under contract to the Department of Defense for a Proof of Concept program for the purposes of improving military base security," the statement read in part.

JetBlue has been hit with two class-action lawsuits in California and Utah, and the airline and Acxiom were named in a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission Sept. 22 by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The complaint alleged that the two firms had engaged in deceptive trade practices when they disclosed the data.

Whether the FTC will undertake an investigation is not known, as the agency does not discuss investigations unless it decides to take legal action. It did, however, acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

The American Civil Liberties Union also got involved Sept. 23 when it posted a page on its Web site to allow JetBlue passengers to file Freedom of Information Act requests with the Pentagon to find out whether any of their personal data was divulged, how it was used and whether it was retained, among other things. The page can be found at


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above