KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
2:11 PM CDT, October 16, 2011
Whether it's to protect you from identity thieves. Or, it's just to avoid getting those annoying solicitations in the mail. It's not a bad idea to keep tabs on your personal information. But that's not always easy. Especially, when you might not suspect a group you belong to... or a charity you helped... to share personal details with a third party. FactFinder12 found out local university groups share your information and get big bucks for the deal.
Showing your Shocker pride is as easy as flying a flag or wearing a T-shirt. And for the last 12 years, you can even carry it in your wallet.
We asked WSU student Colin Phillips if he would be more likely to show his Shocker pride with a WSU credit card. He said, "Probably."
The Wichita State University Alumni Association partners with INTRUST Bank. The association says the exclusive agreement allows INTRUST to send offers and promote WSU credit, debit, and gift cards to members.
"I'm sure they're paying them a good amount of money to do that,” WSU student John Morgan said.
The government requires that amount be reported. Factfinder12 found INTRUST paid WSU's Alumni Association almost 350-thousand dollars from the deal last year. The bank partners with KU and K-State's Alumni groups for more than twice that amount. The WSU Alumni Association says the money is a direct source of operating funds. But this business deal could come at a cost to you... if you don't want your personal information shared with a third party.
"There are tons of businesses that do that. We learned that in our ethics classes… that's the risk you take when you put yourself up for alumni associations or whatever,¿ Morgan said.
In a statement sent to Eyewitness News, the WSU Alumni Association says "as part of the card program, the Alumni Association shares certain information about alumni and friends of WSU with INTRUST, such as names and addresses."
"If they want to opt out right now, they can certainly call the alumni association and say look, I don't want my information given to anybody,¿ Rose Hill Bank President Rocky Waitt said.
Waitt’s bank is not involved in the INTRUST deal. But Waitt is familiar with the practice. He says there isn't a privacy issue here.
"You're dealing with a really good bank,¿ Waitt said.
The alumni association says the information is kept confidential. And, it hasn't received any complaints.
The agreement between the alumni association and INTRUST was just renewed until 2021.
After repeated attempts, INTRUST did not return calls to comment on this story.
If you would like to opt-out, call the WSU Alumni Association at (316) 978-3836.
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