Give your email address, and you may be sharing much more than that
Its no surprise that once you give your email address to someone, it may be shared, sold and re-sold, added to so called “opt-in” marketing lists, burring your inbox with a mountain of spam in the future.
However, it’s worse than that! By giving your email address to someone, you disclose much more than that. A a company called “FullContact” has developed “clever” software that can match your email address with your name, your address, which company you work for, how much you earn and other highly personal information. [A link to their opt-out form is given below]
They openly advertise their services and offer it as an API service. So businesses provide their lists of email addresses and return with all kinds of data that they have on these emails, some of this data is much more than you would normally want share.
So for example, you give them an email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, they may return with the person’s name, what websites they own, demographics including age and location, lists of social profiles and more. It’s quite frighting how much information they can hold on you just from your email address.
Which makes you wonder – how did they manage to get all this info on you? Unfortunately, the business of re-selling contact is getting more slimy and advanced and there are many tricks they can use to collect this. After digging around on their website, we could not find where they list their sources or how they collect this information.
This is yet another reason for why you should use a disposable email address service like Guerrilla Mail – and protect your privacy from websites that you do not trust yet.
As for “Full Contact”, the have an opt-out feature where you can give them your email address and ask them to remove your info from their databases.
See the opt-out form here: http://www.fullcontact.com/privacy/claim/
Whenever they honor their promise is yet to be proven.