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Lord Yupa

February 2010

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The freeipods spam scam, Redux

I've mentioned my feelings on the whole 'freeipods.com' spam scam thing before, but a friend of mine was talking about it earlier, so I went through their 'privacy' statement out of curiosity.

Although, honestly, I'm not sure how they can call it a privacy statement. What it really should be called is a 'this is how we're going to screw you over, abuse your trust, and annoy the hell out of you by totally ignoring and disrespecting your privacy' statement.

Here's some interesting bits:

To create an account, we collect your name, email address, and a shipping address. You will also create a password that you may change in the Account page of our site. We use this information to set up your account, to send you a registration confirmation email and to log your shipping information so that we know where to send your order. We may also use your email address to send you information about new services, features, and special offers from us. Members may opt-out of receiving future mailings of this nature by following the relevant instructions articulated in the body of these promotional emails.

Translation: You give us your information. We then sell it to everyone who will pay us for it, and if you want to opt out of it, you'll have to opt out separately for every single one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of companies we sell you to.

We may work with other third party businesses using the personal information that you supply to us on the main signup page to bring selected retail opportunities to our members via direct mail, email and telemarketing. These businesses may include providers of direct marketing services and applications, including lookup and reference, data enhancement, suppression and validation and email marketing.

Translation: We will sell your information to known spammers, provided they pay us for it. We'll also sell it to telemarketers, junk mailers, and data whores who collect this kind of thing so they can resell it.

There is no way to deactivate an account; if you no longer wish to remain a part of a Gratis Internet website, simply stop logging in to your account. Gratis Internet will not share your information.

Translation: Be prepared for a lifetime of spam at a level well above what you're currently experiencing. And since we have it in the fine print, you can't stop us. Heck, we'll keep selling your information to spammers even after you're dead!

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement, the homepage, and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it frequently. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here, by email, or by means of a notice on our web page.

Translation: We'll change our privacy statement whenever we feel like it, and we're not going to tell you about it. And since you can't delete, remove, or even deactivate an account, that means that we can pretty much do anything we want with your information and you'll probably never know about it.

Doesn't that sound like fun?



You think that's bad? Wal Mart and soon Kroger are putting up flatscreen televisions in their stores to play commercials while people shop. Makes sense. People have to shop. Where are there only radio commercials? Grocery stores!

But that's not all! Look up buzz marketing! This is a really insidious perfection of the corporate invasion of privacy and society used against people to try to drive them into a frenzy of commercial consumption. I should know, I was a victim of project Tremor, Proctor and Gamble's massive buzz marketing scam which utilized roughly 250,000 (or that was their goal anyway) middle and high school kids to create hype about products, bands, and services they sold.

First there were billboard ads. Then there were radio commercials. Then TV commercials. Then flyers and magazines. Then telemarketing. Then buzz marketing, email spam and popups. Now they're bringing the televisions to YOU if you don't even watch TV! (like myself)

The only logical step up is playing advertisements in your dreams. :P But really. Can't wait *heavy sarcasm* to see what new manner of invasive asshattery advertisers come up with next.