On respecting other people's privacy preferences

So, one of the things I've chosen to opt out of in life are "social networking" sites -- linkedin, orkut, facebook, evite, etc.  I don't trust them.  It doesn't entirely matter why.   I just don't trust them -- please don't waste your time trying to convince me that they're ok. 

And if the only way I can get invited to parties is to accept email from evite, I'll happily stay home by myself.

Unfortunately, a fair number of people (typically those who don't know me very well) think that just because they
think a site has an OK privacy policy, everyone agrees that the site is trustworthy and thus it's OK for them to give my email address to the site without checking with me first. 

I really don't understand this -- in my mind, it's horribly rude to give my contact information out to a commercial third party without asking me about it first.  And I don't really put much stake in official privacy policies - if they don't owe me anything, they have no incentive to prevent my email address from being leaked to spammers, identity thieves, and similar pond scum.

So, if you want to get in touch with me, do so directly using your own email account or phone.  Don't indirect through sites like orkut, evite, linkedin, etc.; I generally route mail from such sites directly to /dev/null because it annoys me.

And if you want to be respectful of others, don't assume that they have the same privacy preferences as you -- check with them before you give their email addresses to third parties, no matter how wonderful and saintly you think those services are.  They might not trust the service.  They might have another email address that they'd rather use with the service.  Just take the time to ask individually first!


Comments:

I agree with you, its very annoying and fills up the mail box and you get spammed from time to time with reminders and unknowns that wish to have contact with you.

And something even more annoying is that when I have dealings with some people and have to give out my email some of these folks registered me to scams, those stupid sms games and whatever!

Im considering creating business card for email with a policy written on it explaining the email is private and for intended use only.

Posted by Majid on June 14, 2008 at 05:42 AM EDT #

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