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Last week bankrupt book seller Borders announced that they had agreed to sell their intellectual property to rival Barnes & Noble. The big part of the sale of the intellectual property is the Borders email list. No terms of the sale were disclosed but the email list alone contains the contact information for 48 million customers.
Tiffany Kary at Businessweek notes that Barnes & Noble will run an ad campaign in newspapers to alert customers that they have until October 15, 2011 to opt-out — otherwise their contact information (even if you selected not to share the info) will be transferred to Barnes & Noble.
Today Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch began emailing customers to let them know of the intellectual property and customer data sale from Borders. The email, which I’ve partially included below, notes that you have until October 15, 2011 to opt-out from the data transfer.
If you want to opt-out of the data transfer, visit this site, ignore the sales pitches and make sure to click the confirmation link. For some reason, B&N feels it necessary to send you an email to confirm that you want to actually be unsubscribed and opt-out from the data transfer.
Based on the marketing messages in both the email and on their opt-out site, I am assuming you will get a bunch of emails once the data transfer takes place.
For years at my old job, every single time we added a new sweepstakes, contest or any new data capture form, all of the corporate parties would sit around a table and discuss the various elements of what data we were capturing. The area that we always had debate centered around whether we would default the opt-in marketing box to on or off. We always made the default off because we only wanted customers on our lists that actually wanted to be on our lists. Clearly if we were at Facebook, the default option would have a different initial result.
Last night I asked on Twitter if the new Facebook “socialization” options would be automatically transferred to sites that are using the Facebook widgets and APIs. Everyone basically said the same thing – that you must click the button to connect the website with Facebook.
Today I’ve confirmed my fear…Facebook is sharing our profile and usage data with third parties from the first moment you land on one of their “trusted partners”. Sure you need to opt-in to this “instant personalization” but guess what… Facebook already checked the box for you!
Before I continue let me make it very clear that I am ok with websites enhancing their services for your pleasure using Facebook data when you specifically choose to – each and every time. And at a minimum, that checkbox should be opt-in not opt-out.
I asked my sister who is a very active Facebook user about the instant personalization and her response was, “Nooo!”
Last month, attorneys-at-law firm General Counsel developed two tools to help entrepreneurs. The tools are part of the Legal River legal marketplace. Legal River helps connect businesses with legal needs with attorneys who can provide the needed services. The attorneys bid for the project just like other bidding services. Legal River is based in Washington D.C.
I think both of these generators are great for helping Legal River get visibility. Legal River also asks for your email address when you submit either form which will help Legal River get the word out when they launch additional tools and services.
Legal River was part of the Launchbox Digital incubator which is similar to the popular Y-Combinator startup incubator in Silicon Valley.
But what about our offline privacy? And what I really mean is when people take media of us from offline and move it online – what happens to our human privacy?
On the show 24 last week, super secret agent Chloe was able to track down a bad guy by tapping into the cameras on the streets and even was able to follow the bad guy, zoom way in, etc. We know cameras by police and other law enforcement groups are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are in Times Square, London or a small town in the midwest, chances are cameras are watching your every move. iPhone cameras in Japan are required to beep when taking a photo to prevent upskirt shots.
Last week the Daily News profiled Pete Malachowsky – a guy who rides the N train in NYC like so many others. Malachowskycreated the N Train Gossip Twitter account to highlight his finds – the people who make riding the subway here so much fun. I’ve highlighted a couple of photos below. He adds a bit of snark with each photo. What’s amazing is how close he gets to some of the people he photographs. And now his readers are submitting photos of their own.