The Fine Print of Partner Privacy Policy

Opt-in / Opt-out – I can’t keep them straight. I think opt-in is the one I prefer, since it means the vendor won’t send me junk mail unless I ask for it? Maybe it’s the other way?

Any direct mail marketers out there who can authoritatively answer? I tried to Google it, but when I got to Google’s home page I found a website about Topeka, Kansas instead. 😦

Now I want to visit Topeka. If you are a direct mail marketer, feel free to send me junk mail about Topeka. 🙂

The Possibilities

There are many possibilities when it comes to privacy policies. First, I would like to note that it does seem like every company nowadays has a link to a privacy policy at the bottom of every page. There must be a law about it, or something. Or maybe they are all just trying to be like Facebook, who seems to always be needing to explain their privacy policy.

In brief, I’d sum-up the types of privacy policies as follows. Please note that the various (paraphrased and non-lawyerly) clauses below would typically be strung together in some way to create a coherently abstruse privacy policy.

  • We don’t share your information, ever.
  • We may share your information with select partners and subsidiaries.
  • We knew all about you before you knew about yourself. You are who you are because we implanted a life into you. We made you.

During my recent quest to reduce the amount of junk mail I receive, I discovered quite a lot about how not forthright most organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) are about what their marketing policies are.

And the bizarre part is, I truly appreciate a company which can place exactly the right product in front of me at exactly the right time – I like “good” sales and marketing. It saves me the trouble of having to realize what I need. Some companies are great at doing it – I have no beef with those companies.

But most companies just put in the half-hearted effort of collecting your data and then showering you with offers to buy stuff you don’t really care about.

At least that’s been my experience.