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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Junk Mailers "Puzzled" Over Why Consumers Fear Outsourcing of Their Personal Data

Clinton Bill Stirs Frenzy in Junk Mail Industry

Right after I posted last Tuesday’s article, “More Meaningless ID Theft Legislation,” I received my latest copy of the junk mail publication, Direct Magazine. I still read this stuff because it provides a bridge between this blog and the object of its message: Junk mailers, and the fact that consumers should have control over their names and personal data, and be paid any time it is used.

The business of junk mail is basically a closed community to outsiders. Like its customers. They don’t want you to know they reap over $4 billion annually from your names and private information. They don’t want you to really find out what is being done with your sensitive data, because then you would realize just how precarious a situation it is in. How data breaches can and will continue to happen, leading to more ID theft crime. That’s why they are worried about Senator Clinton’s bill, The Privacy Rights and Oversight for Electronic and Commercial Transactions Act of 2006.

Still Missing the Point

Direct Magazine’s article, “Privacy Bill a Whopper,” carries a subtitle, “Clinton measure could be worrisome for any DMer that uses personal data.” It has always been this industry’s philosophy to worry about the junk mailers, but give limited thought to protecting the customer, much less compensate them for selling their sensitive data. This article, by Ken Magill, is no different, but it does throw in yet another bizarre statement, confirming this lack of concern for consumer rights.

Magill is “puzzled” why Clinton’s bill would prohibit companies from moving customers’ sensitive data overseas. Duh. With over 250 data breaches in this country alone since the 2005 ChoicePoint incident, amounting to more than 93 million private records, many readers of my blog are beginning to buy my concept: Pass federal legislation giving consumers control over their names and personal data, and pay them when it is sold.

Magill Outdumbed by His Own Article Interview Guest

Magill interviews someone by the name of Tricia Robinson, a V.P. for Premiere Global Services of Atlanta. This firm advertises itself as “…the world’s leading provider of outsourced document automation.” To paraphrase, Robinson indicates she can only “speculate” why Clinton would want to protect American citizens from data outsourcing, but surmises people feel safer with their private information in the U.S. rather than, say, India.

Actually, they probably don’t. And the reason is that we have had over 250 data breaches involving 93 million of those personal records in question in less than two years in the U.S. Ken, Tricia…they won’t be safe anywhere until the name-holder takes control.

1 comment:

Gary Spedding, Ph.D. said...

Well stated on your thoughts of us owning our own names. I had posted a similar comment today and then found yours on a blog search so I posted your heading on this to my own blog site.


Gary Spedding (bigbullywatcher).