Marcel's blog

TD Ameritrade leaks your data. Your compensation?

TD Ameritrade sticks out in my inbox as one of the biggest spammers I do business with. Well, it turns out they are not actually spammers themselves; they just leaked my email address. Not much more, I hope. And what I get in return? Not much.

The class action settlement calls for some basic services for anyone who's identity was actually stolen — not me, as far as I know. And it offers spam victims some anti-spam, anti-virus software. But it'll only run on Windows, which I don't have. Well, at least a small $55k donation will be made in my name… or maybe it'll be in Ameritrade's name, I don't really know.

Call me greedy, but this sounds like small potatoes to me. To get some perspective, 6.3 million accounts were leaked, spam is a 10 billion per year industry, and TD Ameritrade is turning over $0.5 billion in revenue into almost $0.25 billion in profits per quarter. Even the plaintif's fees are likely to be in the millions. Sounds like the anti-spam/anti-virus software is available free after rebate, and anyway I doubt many will redeem it. In other personal information leak settlements at Victoria Secrets and ChoicePoint, the price per account was around $90, although in those cases, more than just contact info was leaked. But class members in the Ameritrade case are getting just a penny per account.

Personally, I got about 120 emails to my dedicated Ameritrade email address — an address I've given only to Ameritrade — far more spam than from any other of my dedicated addresses.

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