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Forum Moderators: phranque
Do you think it would still be okay to claim:
"We will never give your contact information to anyone"?
I think you need to look at the operating agreement(s) with those off-site hosted solutions. If you are given password-protected, encrypted or otherwise secure areas, and the providers promise your security, I do not see that you are giving anyone's address away. And, obviously, if the mail providor WON'T guarrantee your rpivacy, walk away!
If you are their paying client and you want them to handle your data, then while they are doing this they are essentially an agent for yourselves and technically it hasn't been passed on to a "3rd party" in the normal sense as this company is effectively an just carrying out your orders...
In the marketing lists business this sort of thing is a really common practice as people who buy lists can't release to a 3rd party under the terms of their data licence, however most of them cannot actually handle fulfilment themselves and so they hire a 3rd party to deal with all the data (mailing houses etc).
But as carfac points out so well it really does come down to the type of business relationship they will offer you.
I suggest EVERYONE do this with mailing lists.