Controlling the use of your name and personal data


Back in 2005, when I was still a part of the junk mail business, I began seriously questioning whose property an individual's name, address and other personal data was. I came to the conclusion, and it also seemed common sense to me, that the individual should own this data and be paid for its use. I created a formula for how the American public should be compensated and publicized it nationally. It was met by resistance by the entire industry, even privacy organizations.

My proposal, which was introduced on July 4, 2006, "Independence is Control Over your Name and Personal Data," was met with hostility from junk mailers, the Direct marketing Assn., and many privacy groups whose purported purpose was to protect your name and personal data. Here's an excerpt...
"There is only one answer to protecting our names and personal data, and holding Big Brother at bay when it comes to business and government usurping individual privacy. Orwell’s 1984 predicted it, and we are very close to fulfilling his prophesy, but Americans are beginning to see the light and the need to protect their inner sanctum."
That led to...
"(2 In the case of compensation in the sale of consumer names and personal data, this same system would calculate revenue by individual, and maintain an accounting of what is due. Based on the junk mail industry’s annual take of $4 billion for the selling of names and private information, I feel the name-holder should receive one-half. Ideally, it could be placed in an account bearing simple interest of 3 percent, and the person could eventually draw around $607 a month to supplement their retirement, or take the proceeds in cash."
And then I did a follow-up piece some two weeks later, "Junk Mail Industry Continues to Rob Customers," which reassessed my earlier post of July 4, remarking how junk mailers seemed to ignore the individual's privacy, selling your name repeatedly...
"Yet, the very culprits responsible for the conspiracy are whining over how to get even more results from your names and private information. In a recent article, “Marketers Feel Data-Challenged,” from Direct, a junk mail industry publication, a survey reveals a general unhappiness by companies of not realizing the highest return from your personal data. They want more and more of it, but don’t know how to use it. Pathetic."
There's more...
"In keeping with the inaccuracy of ChoicePoint and Acxiom data from another survey ( 73% and 67%, respectively), junk mail marketers seem to fare no better, with only 30% reporting their data as reliable. Have you ever known of an industry selling its product—mailing lists—for $4 billion a year with an average error rate of 70%? I think not."
Well, the American public, a bunch of lazy apathetics I call them, didn't respond to my proposal, but apparently California sees the idea of the protection of this private information very important. Important enough to pass California Consumer Protection Act, or CCPA, and I look forward to seeing its effect on the use of our names and private information. Read more here...

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