Marketing people are often in a world of their own. But in today’s world – I am an old timer – I want the option to hide my data and for businesses to not sell it. If one thinks about the advantages to selling information, the hope is that this information will lead to sales for other companies. I honestly believe that this is a weak means of making a profit in so many circumstances. The consequences of these ‘partnerships’ is that the everyday person has to contend with more emails, more junk faxes, more junk mail and more wasted time. Today I was trying to get pricing information for a blackberry corporate server, so I can use calendar synching over a wireless sync with their exchange server.
If you can actually FIND the privacy link, the you will read this:
Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
Except as part of the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of RIM, RIM will not sell, trade or rent your personal information to any third party unless we have your consent. We will only use and/or disclose personal information in order to:
- understand and meet your needs and preferences;
- develop new and enhance existing service and product offerings;
- manage and develop our business and operations; and
- meet legal and regulatory requirements.
We also reserve the right to use, disclose, sell, trade or rent data aggregated provided that the data is not linked to any specific individual.
To be able to serve you, your personal information may be collected, stored and/or processed or otherwise used by or on our behalf both inside and outside of Canada by third party service providers or by companies in the RIM corporate family, to perform functions on our behalf. As a result, that country’s courts, governments or law enforcement agencies could obtain disclosure of such information under that country’s laws.
Essentially, the first sentence claims ‘we will not share or sell your information’, and then the policy proceeds to explain they ‘will share information if it is going to help my needs or the needs of Blackberry’. Blackberry IS selling your information because it suits THEIR needs and the possible perception of MY needs.
Additionally, as with junk faxes, since they are outside of the US – they are in Canada – they can be excluded from the DO NOT CALL list laws and the privacy laws of the US.
I LOVE my Blackberry functionality, but will continue to look for an alternative, and hope that one day I can pull away from RIM entirely. Google will release the Android phones, and eventually Microsoft will sync their calendar with them. I write this post not to start a revolution, but to present a case to all people to give them the knowledge to make a choice. When you sign up with all companies in the US, some will require you to opt out, some to opt-in to marketing. But Blackberry will sell you down the road over and over again.
The alternative solutions include:
There are others, too, but these seem to be very strong contenders.