After my thoughts yesterday about web spyware, this post about email spam caught my eye. The author owns his own email domain, so creates a new email address he signs up to; Company A gets companya@domain, Service B gets serviceb@domain, etc. These email addresses are unique and never shared with anyone but the service.
So imagine his surprise when the email address he set up for Performancing.com turned up on a piece of spam.
The likeliest way spammers could have got the address is from Performancing itself, and while he’s stopping short of accusing them of selling his details, the practice absolutely does happen, much more often than you’d think. Think about it this way: there are hundreds upon hundreds of web companies out there. Most of the popular ones have funding of some kind, which investors need to see a return on, but most web companies also don’t make a profit. How can they easily make supplemental income from their existing assets? Through selling on your details.
If any of you have other examples of this practice, let me know – it’d be interesting (and telling) to build up a collection.