Andrew Alba • January 23, 2011
The following is a rant and has no purpose other then to let me vent.
The issue of privacy has come up often lately in the media. Privacy advocates have concerns about the amount of personal information aggregated by companies like Facebook and Google and shared with third parties.
The concerns are legitimate and although I am not as concerned as much as the advocates, it is always on the back of my mind when I provide personal information online. So why this rant?
One example of a company and this process is MLB.com. I am a big baseball fan and I have purchased several products through the MLB.com site. What does MLB.com do to such a great customer? They provide my information to third parties. I was somewhat tolerant of this process until recently when I received an email from Bank of America via MLB.com. I have a justifiable intense animosity for Bank of America and their egregious business practices. I immediately clicked the link provided in the email to opt-out of the Bank of America email list. Low and behold the process was broken and I was given an error every time I tried to opt-out. I don't believe that it was intentional by either MLB.com or Bank of America, but I can tell you it is indicative of Bank of America and their customer service.
I don't know that it is necessary for states to pass new laws, but instead the best-practice of companies should be to opt-out your account and make it easy for users to opt-in. They could market the benefits and let consumers opt-in on their own.
I for one will continue to take my business to companies that automatically opt-out your account (like my local bank) and will avoid companies that continue to monetize my personal informat