Of course you don’t read privacy policies – well then read this

The number of data aggregation sites is exploding.

Companies provide free services to aggregate and sell social media data to marketers. This maybe a free business network, a ranking service, games and all kinds of services that look like fun, interesting, important – must haves…

 

Do you read their privacy policy? I guess most don't. Branch-Out was the first that just astounded me. Many of my network friends invited my to join, obviously not even looking at the almost empty privacy policy that basically stated that there is no privacy.

A privacy policy may state that you do not have any privacy

 

A new kid in town is Mixtent. Their privacy policy is a looooooong page with all kinds of content telling you what to do with the data, what you should do with your content and some where in between it tells you basically that they can do with the data what they want: "You agree that this license includes the right for Mixtent Inc Properties to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Mixtent Inc Properties for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use."

Mixtent correctly states and let their users know that they may sell your data. Hence the most important action to become a Mixtent user is to complete your profile with your email address.

You can't opt-out

Right at the first paragraph Mixtent mentions to you: "As part of providing you the Services, we may need to provide you with certain communications, such as service announcements and administrative messages. These communications are considered part of the Services and your account, which you may not be able to opt-out from receiving."

You my friend, get me in trouble!

I want to be very clear there is absolutely nothing wrong with this and nothing wrong or incorrect with companies like Mixtent, Branch-out and others. But what is really wrong is that "you my friend" introduces me to sites that capture all my data, sell it to marketers and then spam me. So please read the privacy note before you make any introductions to your friends – like me. You apologized twice – how many more you want to make? Sharing is great and you should not refrain from telling me about cool stuff – but please do read the privacy note.

Axel

http://xeesm.com/AxelS

 

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  1. Gregory StringerGregory Stringer04-05-2011

    Sent out the following tweet: "Didn't pay attention to the fine print; Of course you don't read privacy policies – well then read this http://t.co/szIPUdP #apologies" and made a similar post on Facebook. I'm so ashamed for having caused so much trouble unwittingly by not doing what I should have. I'm very sorry, Axel, and apologize to you and all others I stupidly subjected to this entrapment. One great thing about learning lessons the hard way, if you're smart, you only have to learn them once. When all else fails, read the instructions.

  2. Wendy SoucieWendy Soucie04-06-2011

    Axel, you are always teaching, so thanks for reminding us what we shouldn't give up for ourselves or for our friends who trust our recommendations. it stands to note that 80% of Internet Users trust the recommendations of social network contacts more than sales or marketing materials or people. I will be doing more reading between lines and all the way to the end of the "lines"
    Wendy
    xeesm.com/wendysoucie

  3. Walter AdamsonWalter Adamson04-07-2011

    Funny you mentioned the inability to opt-out, I found Icetv.com.au won't let you opt out either. 
    The email footer kindly offers: If you don't want to receive any more of these informative emails from IceTV, please follow the instructions at http://www.icetv.com.au/unsubscribe.

    But at the web page it says "You are currently subscribed to emails relating to sales or other promotions (subscription discounts etc.)
    Sorry, free accounts cannot unsubscribe from these emails."
     
    That's a poor attitude from ICE TV, and annoying.
     
    Walter @adamson
    http://xeesm.com/walter
     

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