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12/04/2004 Entry: "A Mayerson Service Announcement about Your Privacy"

Are your home phone and address all over the web? Mine were, and here's what happened:

About two years ago I moved. All my mail goes to and is forwarded to a PO Box, but I was still getting TONS of junk at the new Casa Mayerson. Eventually I discovered why, but that's another story. In this story, I'm here to tell you that that a company called Acxiom got hold of my home address and put it in their database without my consent, of course. Why would they ask? No sane person would say "Oh, yes! Please have the mail carrier cram junk mail into my mailbox every day, six days a week!" This also meant that my home phone and address ended up in every search engine on the web. Sigh.

I found these Acxiom creeps in the process of getting my phone number out of every goddam search engine on earth. I will save you the trouble, however, if you put your phone number into any search engine like this "###-###-####, area code-prefix-suffix, make sure you use dashes, and if you get a nasty surprise, look for the "removal" link for that search engine, rinse, and repeat on all the search engines you can find. It only takes, oh, less than twelve hours of your life. Then get the "Opt Out" package from the weird folks at Axciom by sending half a dozen emails asking for it to:

optoutus@axciom.com

The "Opt Out" package is worth getting just for the bullshit, as well as to get your name out of their database. You have to mail your request to "Opt Out". They use the highest high tech to invade your privacy, but the onus is on you, and the completely underappreciated U.S. Post Office, to get your privacy back. Shamelessly, they have a brochure in the package called "Protecting Your Privacy in the Information Age", said the fox to the hens.

Here's Axciom's "Privacy" policy.

And here's an interesting tidbit from the cover form letter I got. Ahem:

"It is important to understand that names are typically rented or exchanged months before an actual marketing event takes place. Therefore, it normally takes three to six months before the opt-out will result in a noticeable decrease in the number of direct marketing solicitations a consumer receives."

So, yes, if you want out, you can get out, but not right away. Oh well. Big Brother Our Friends at Acxiom also want you, the victim, to contact another strange organization -- The Direct Marketing Association (DMA):

"Postcard or Letter Mail-in Option (Free):
"There is no charge for registering by mail. However, registering by mail may delay for a month or so inclusion in the MPS file because this requires time to manually add this data to the service. Please send a postcard or letter that includes your name, home address, and signature to us at:

"Mail Preference Service
"Direct Marketing Association
"PO Box 643
"Carmel, NY 10512"

and:

"Telephone Preference Service
"Direct Marketing Association
"PO Box 1559
"Carmel, NY 10512"

There is more information and online forms for MAILING LISTS removal and for TELEPHONE number removal, but, incredibly, they make you pay $5 each if you use them, but, also incredibly, sending DMA paper that their staff must manually enter is free. These intrusive organizations must be naturally perverse and greedy. It's the only explanation I can come up with for this kind of chutzpa.

However, getting your email off their lists can be done online and is FREE, so that's good.

Privacy. It's like your health, you don't know what you've lost until it's gone.

Thank you for your attention. This has been a Mayerson Service Announcement.

 

 

 

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