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namesdatabase.com: Another Spam Haven and Privacy Risk!
You'll remember my rants about sms.ac.
An old school friend of mine - bless her soul! - fed my email address into NamesDatabase.com. End result is that i'm now being spammed by a 'social networking' database which smacks of breach-of-privacy.
So I get this email:
1. Click on your link above to activate it.
2. Complete your info to enter the Web site.
[friend] selected you for this on 03-19-2006 13:42 ET.
[friends email address] ([friends name])initiated this to
If you do not know a [friends name], use this link to halt reminders
For reference, the address of The Names Database is PO Box 550175, Waltham, MA 02455.
Having received this I sent said friend an enquiry...
Her response was 'oh', basically.
Anyway. The above was dated 20 March. On 24 March, a further email:
Remember your link from [friends name]:
1 -> Use [friends name]'s link by clicking above.
2 -> Enter your info for a membership connected to [friend].
3 -> Share links with other friends, family and co-workers.
4 -> Use the members-only people search tools.
[friend] selected you for this on 09-02-2004 22:52 ET.
I got a further reminder this morning. (being 28 March):
[friend] sent you this last week:
Please recall that [friend] sent you the above invitation last week
Please take care,
The Names Database Team
At no point have I clicked on any of the links involved.
Standard practise is, as you likely know, for a single message to be sent... requiring opt-in BEFORE further traffic is sent. And repeats are usually a no-no.
Beyond this, the whole concept is flawed. A quick google revealed some interesting links and comments:
Plus this blog had an interesting piece of feedback:
Hey Guys, you might want to read section 3 of the terms and conditions page. here's a small part regarding "Your Personal Information" - go to their site to read the rest.
"You grant Opobox a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, royalty-free right to (a) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat Your Information in any media now known or not currently known, and (b) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. Opobox will not pay you for Your Information. Opobox reserves the right (but not the obligation) to remove or edit Your Information, but does not regularly review Your Information. "
I dunno about you, but i'm not willing to give lots of my personal info out to a company which is basically telling you it'll do what it damn well pleases with said info!!!
I've censured my friend who sent this to me - fairly loudly given the medium was in email - but this should serve as a warning. These 'community networking' engines have a dangerous other side... one that shows little respect for privacy or for best industry practise, even!
I strongly reccomend http://www.oldfriends.co.nz. NZ Based, NZ Focused and a company with fairly good ethics. Not to mention being subject to the NZ Privacy Act. I don't see the point in even risking any other service, especially with some very dodgy ethics involved!