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I Won’t Sell Email Addresses

This article was written by in Administration. 15 comments.


The other day I received a note from a company that was ready to pay me some presumably somewhat hefty sum for a Consumerism Commentary e-mail list. That’s right, they wanted to buy or rent e-mail addresses of this website’s readers in addition to any demographic information I might have.

Of course, I refused. (Well, technically, I just ignored the e-mail.)

It makes me wonder how many other bloggers were contacted by the same people and how many bloggers complied.

Please know that if you choose to leave a comment here, I appreciate valid e-mail addresses so I can answer your comments personally or ask follow-up questions. But I will never give those e-mail addresses to anyone. Also, the e-mail addresses are never displayed on any website where they can be scraped or otherwise lifted by spammers.

Perhaps I should create a “privacy policy” so this is clear. Please feel free to comment anywhere on Consumerism Commentary without any concern about your e-mail address being used for mailicious (or financial) purposes.

Updated October 31, 2007 and originally published October 12, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Saving Freak

This is a great example for bloggers and businesses in general. The more responsible each person is with the information of others the more we can cut out the vultures of the Internet.

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avatar KMC

I put up a privacy policy on my site a month or two ago. Just seemed like good policy. Of course, a policy is only as good as the company/person backing it. But for what it’s worth, I have one (that says I won’t disclose anything, ever).

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avatar Modern Worker

Glad to hear it. You just made me an even more loyal reader :)

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avatar Mrs. Micah

Good gracious. I do see people’s e-mails in the comments but I hadn’t even thought of selling them. That seems…low. It’s biting the hand that feeds you. Congrats on your ethical stance, and shame on those who sell us out.

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avatar FrugalTrader

Good for you Flexo. However, if it was me, I would ask how much they’re offering first. :) Just for curiosity sake of course.

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avatar Money Blue BOok

Those type of lists are valuable and should be kept private from unscrupulous advertisers seeking to get their grubby paws on them without readers’ consent. Glad you were able to resist the $$ temptation!
-Raymond

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avatar Dave

Heh, you know I wonder how they would feel? Post the request email free and clear for bots! Let them get all that spam.

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avatar Joe

Makes me glad that 1) I always use a fake email address when I comment, and 2) I never sign up for email feeds from blogs!

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avatar plonkee

If you were in the UK, this would probably be illegal. As businesses aren’t allowed to pass on email addresses and so on without permission from the individuals.

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avatar Clever Dude

Yeah, they contacted me yesterday. I just ignored it.

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avatar shadox

Good for you! (and for us)

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avatar Patrick

That’s the best policy. I haven’t been contacted about this, but if I were, I would also refuse. I can’t stand SPAM just like everyone else, and there’s no way I would feel good about profiting from it.

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avatar thomas

sell it – it’s my junk email anyway. This day and age if you don’t have at least 2 emails, one for personal one for junk, you are wasting time.

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avatar mapgirl

I just put up a privacy policy, pretty much lifted wholesale from another blogger with some edits. My feeling is that if I don’t want my email address sold, I won’t sell any I have either.

While I agree that in this day and age everyone should have a useful email address and a junk email address, it’s still not a good idea for addresses to be sold. It only encourages bad behavior by advertisers and frankly, I’ll let the junk email box go dead and start a new one if it gets clogged up. Then the address is useful to no one, not even me.

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avatar Harrison

Congratulation Flexo! I say this because not every blogger has a chance to get this kind of offers. This email indicates that your blog are really famous and big. I wish I can receive this kind of offer email in future, of course I will not accept the deal :)

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