namesdatabase.com: Another Spam Haven and Privacy Risk!

You'll remember my rants about sms.ac.
Heres another one in the same category.

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:


[friends name] just sent you this link:

https://namesdatabase.com/1l.pl?c1=REMOVED

Instructions

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
[my email address] at 03-19-2006 13:42 Eastern TIme on namesdatabase.com from the IP address [friends IP].

If you do not know a [friends name], use this link to halt reminders
about the above link.

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]:

http://namesdatabase.com/2m.pl?k2=REMOVED

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.
(rest removed)

I got a further reminder this morning. (being 28 March):

[friend] sent you this last week:

https://namesdatabase.com/3h.pl?t3=REMOVED

Please recall that [friend] sent you the above invitation last week
on 03-19-2006. To use it, simply click on it above (if it is clickable), or otherwise copy and paste it into the address bar of your Web browser. If you do not know a [friends name] then you may have been sent this message in error. In that case, or if you otherwise wish to deactivate this link that was sent to you, simply visit https://namesdatabase.com/u.pl?cc3=REMOVED.

Please take care,

The Names Database Team
Post Office Box 550175
Waltham, Mass. 02451

At no point have I clicked on any of the links involved.
Note that not only have I received a 'barrage' of messages over time, but theyre actually requiring me to CLICK in order to tell them to go AWAYY.

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:

http://marv.kordix.com/archives/000137.html

Plus this blog had an interesting piece of feedback:

http://blogged.btvillarin.com/2005/04/29/namesdatabase/

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!

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I got entered into that

I got entered into that stupid database by some friends as well.. scary thing was 2 of them worked at QSI and shouldve known better :-p
I NEVER had spam until they entered me...... now I get constant spam.
Thanks QSI staffers ;)

Another useful

Another useful hit

http://news.spamcop.net/pipermail/spamcop-list/2005-October/105339.html

More

More stuff!

http://castlecops.com/postp601462.html

Upon entrance, before you can get any info about ol school mates, etc you must enter in 5 more e-mail addresses...i did find this in their terms page

Especially note:

http://castlecops.com/p606948-Thoroughly_confused_by_quot_friend_quot.html#606948

After a lil work I managed to get into the site. Its definately a farm for addresses. A 12$ a year fee would have allowed me to reach about 6 of my classmates OR i could enter 24 more addresses and get free access for one year. I can't tell you what sort of info the site kept on some of my old classmates as I did not register but I would definately keep away. They explicitly say that they will use any info about you which you give them for as long as they want for whatever they want...according to that statement, they could seel your credit card info and get away scot free because you agreed to it. They're more likely to sell to spammers as active e-mail I believe though. They ping any e-mail you give them as a sign on fee to check if they are in fact correct...