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Friday, March 09, 2007


A recent study by InfoTrends market research firm found that junk mail shoppers prefer the paper approach over e-mail by three to one. And, you like your junk mail personalized, which means the mailer must know all about your private life. Things like your age, education, income, children, occupation, your daily habits and lifestyles, your ailments and what drugs you take. That’s only a speck of what they now know in order to personalize your junk mail. But if that’s the way you want it, that’s the way you’ll get it. Oh, I forgot to mention…all that personalization it takes to get you an offer for a digital camera is sold to other junk mailers for $4 billion annually. My point is, if you really crave this convenience, why not control the use of your personal data, and be compensated when it is sold? Seems fair to me, but most of the junk mail shopping public can’t get past the desire for the convenience. A dispassionate public for their individual privacy and the rights of control—“apathetics” I call them—still refuses to cash in on this gold mine. My Excel math tells me you could supplement your retirement for an average of $607 monthly at age 65. You could also go green by cutting down on mail you don’t want, although I can’t guarantee an Academy Award.

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