clever but sneaky

Online privacy and internet regulation have certainly been on my mind of late. This morning, I got a very clever email from the marketers of a database that had ‘included my business profile’ in their service.  Their plain, non-salesy email expressed strong interest in allowing me to protect the privacy of my information included in their database. I’d never heard of this service and certainly hadn’t subscribed. However, if someone crawls linkedin or other places where my business information appears and pulls from what I’ve published, I should want that information [free promotion] of my business spread as widely as possible, yes? Their email did get me to link to their site for a look – clearly they want to sell me a subscription. No suprise, nothing new — except perhaps using the guise of online privacy as a hook. Given my recent study of this issue (see prior posts in this list), this kind of sneak marketing is likely to increase as the regulation issue draws steam. Actually regulating it is going to be a very interesting challenge.

1 Response to “clever but sneaky”

  1. 1 liz
    April 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    It would be interesting to know how they got your information. Last I checked, Linked In’s Terms of Use prohibited crawling, as well as use of the information in a manner competitive to Linked In. I imagine other sites have similar prohibitions. I wonder if sites like Linked In police their sites to enforce their TOUs or respond to complaints of possible misuse of information by others.

    It is sneaky the way the email seems to have used your possible privacy concerns to get you to open the email – – – especially since the owner must assume you want to be included in the database. It shows that some businesses know privacy is important to people and the issue will get attention.

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