A Snapshot of Privacy Issues To Come?

with 2 comments

At some point in the last few years, I gave Kodak my email address. I suspect that it was probably to access a friend’s photo gallery at kodakgallery.com, but the actual reason is lost to the mists of antiquity. Over that time, they’ve sent me a few emails, which I’ve dutifully ignored. Today, however, the email I received was something different – an extreme example of what not to do to ensure continued delivery.

The email reads, in part:

Welcome to 2011 from the KODAK Gallery. As a
valued member, we would like to be sure you
have the opportunity to receive important and
valuable messages via email about other KODAK
consumer products, offers, news, and services.

We've made this easy for you. Your permission
status has been updated and if you are ok with
it, there's nothing else you need to do. If you
do not wish to receive those communications,
click the "No Thanks" button below. Either way,
your Gallery subscription status will not


Now, I don’t mind companies with whom I’ve done business asking me for permission to share my personal data. In some instances, I’ve been more than happy to allow it. But to assume that I will allow it, to require me to actively tell them that I do not want this, and to “update” my “permission status” without getting my permission first, is presumptuous in the extreme. In the wake of the Google Buzz fiasco, and the numerous complaints about companies like Ebay and Amazon (in the bad old days) resetting email permissions for folks that hadn’t used the site in a while, I’m shocked that a major company would still believe that it knows, better than its customers, what its customers want.


Written by hanov3r

February 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Ick. 😦 That is the epitome of opt-out. In that email, Kodak just confessed that it deliberately and with full knowledge sent bulk email to individuals who did NOT ask to receive that bulk email.

    I consider that deliberate spam. If it were not restricted to Kodak customers who had given Kodak their email addresses for some other purpose, I would probably dump the relevant domain and IP(s) into my local router. Kodak probably doesn’t care about a few individual or small company mail servers that block their email, of course. The type of marketer that would do something this breathtakingly arrogant and stupid does not consider individuals worthy of their attention.

    However, by the rules at Spamhaus (has Kodak ever heard of them?) and most other major anti-spam blocklists, opt-out is by definition spam. While reputable anti-spam blocklists don’t list IPs or domains based on a public complaint, the people who run these blocklists do read blogs. And they remember.

    Kodak should keep that in mind.

    Catherine Jefferson

    February 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

  2. […] (Hanov3r) , a long-time anti-spammer acquaintance, blogged today about a breathtakingly arrogant, and frankly stupid, action by Kodak Corporation.  Some years ago […]

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