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Professional Webmaster Business Issues Forum

    
selling personal information to marketers?
how is it done, has anyone here dealt with this
Justin




msg:791965
 2:03 am on May 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've been trying to read as much as I can about this topic the last few days, but really everything I've found seems to take the perspective of: "how to protect your privacy from the deceptive techniques of evil marketers." From what I've learned, several failed dotcoms such as Pets.com, toysmart and boo have sold customer information for millions. While selling personal information seems a bit eerie to me also, I need to eat too, right? With that said, I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction as to 1)where to find such marketing companies that may be interested in my buying my information 2) what type of information I should gather, and any legal issues that come with it 3) any other info on this topic from a businessman's perspective. Thanks for reading :)

--Justin

 

Marcia




msg:791966
 4:11 am on May 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Justin, from a business-person's point of view, I think it would be a shame for someone to have to end up spending all their bar mitzvah money and bonds on paying legal fees and fines, and still possibly ending up owing.

Yes, there are potentially legal issues involved with selling the addresses. It is, essentially, participating in sending unsolicited email, which is called spam, for which there are increasingly tougher laws, and severer penalties.

Some of the unsolicited mail could involve fraud, and since you are targeting families of teenagers, think of the ramifications of selling addresses, and having spam mail for skin flicks being sent to 13 year old boys - and then the parents find out you were the one who made the email address available? They've gotcha, and they are not gonna be happy.

The only advice that can be given to you is to check with a qualified attorney or the appropriate law enforcement agency to verify whether or not this would be potentially raising legal or liability issues for you. Due to the questionable nature of this, I don't think any of us can really advise you any further than the wisdom of making sure you protect your interests.

WebGuerrilla




msg:791967
 7:07 am on May 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>Yes, there are potentially legal issues involved with selling the addresses. It is, essentially, participating in sending unsolicited email, which is called spam, for which there are increasingly tougher laws, and severer penalties.

Let me start off by saying I hate spam too!:) However, I think you would have a hard time making a case of selling customer data criminal. If you ever read any of the privacy policies of some of the dot bombs Justin mentioned, I can just about guarantee that there was the standard clause in them that the "may from time to time share the data."

When a dot com goes out of business, their client list is probably the most valuable assest they have. If they go bankrupt, and close shop owing money to creditors, The court will force them to sell anything of value to pay their debts. It happens all the time.

Regarding the ethical side, I think it's a bad idea. (and one you should only consider in bankruptcy. :))If your site is something you plan to keep going for awhile, then pedaling customer info will probably do more harm than good. If you do decide to do it, then at the very least you need to clearly explain in your privacy policy that you intend to share information you collect.

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