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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


THE ARROGANCE OF GATHERING CONSUMER PERSONAL DATA


MultichannelMerchant.com, which is part of Penton Publications, has said, in effect, that if the consumer won’t give up their private information, the junk mailer should go out and get it anywhere they can. Penton also owns Direct, a junk mail industry trade publications, with which I have disagreed on several occasions in the past. The procedure is called “enhancement,” a term that means the junk mailer has your name, address, telephone number, and credit card number, but wants to add to this your income, occupation, children in the household, what you owe on your home, whether you drink smoke or gamble, what you read, your ailments the medications you take, and the list can go on forever. Looking at Dictionary.com, “arrogance” is defined as an “offensive display of authority or self-importance; overbearing pride.” This is precisely the belief of junk mailers when it comes to their position on who owns your name and personal data. They do. You, the customer, have no right to argue with that, and the fact that the list industry grosses $4 billion each year from your name and private information. They’ve gotten away with it since the beginnings of junk mail, and will continue to do so if the American public does not stand up to this flagrant violation of your privacy and rights of compensation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.

The proposed recent "Do not mail" is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing - and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?

I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation!

The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today's [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer's right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.”

We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.

http://www.newdream.org/emails/ta19.html

Signed,
Ramsey A Fahel