Privacy Statements


A typical evening at the Jackson household always involves the telemarketing interruption. Sounds something like this, “Hello? No, we’re not interested… Can you please put us on your do not call list?” What? You don’t have one? I thought I signed up for some list that keeps telemarketers from calling me…. You’ve never heard of the list?”

The fact is every company, bank, or organization that you deal with on a yearly basis can use your information and easily sell it to telemarketing companies to offer you their services.

The state of Indiana passed an anti-telemarketing bill to stop un-wanted interruptions at your home. But this really won’t stop telemarketers because of a little known thing called a privacy statement.

The privacy statement is to inform you that a company can use your information to solicit products and services to you and to other companies. Banks and credit card companies are required to send you their privacy statement and allow you to tell the company that you do not wish for your information to be shared.

Unfortunately if you deal with several banks or credit card companies you will have to do this with all of them. But banks and credit card companies are not the only ones you have to worry about. If you subscribe to a magazine or have purchased from a catalog that you’ve received in the mail, you are also on a list that can be used to solicit products and services. And if you sign up for any contest online or in person you are definitely going to get a call.

Back at my house, my father will surf online, only to be bombarded by banner ads and Internet pop-ups. He really likes the ones that say, “You can win $1,000,000! Click Here!” The first thing they do is get your name, address and telephone number. Then you are on another list! And he wonders why he gets all these calls.

Each time you sign up for something online you are entered into someone’s database and then put on a telemarketing list. If you must use their services, look for a link call privacy statement and read it. The typical privacy statement says, “We have your permission to use your name and information to contact you and solicit products and services. We also have your permission to sell you information to anyone we want…”

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to try and not give out your information and if you must give it out for business reasons, try to inform the business with whom you are dealing with to not share your information.

Internet providers like AOL or MSN are famous for selling your name and information and your e-mail. If you have a free e-mail like hotmail or excite or yahoo mail you will receive junk mail, and sometimes phone calls at home. To avoid this, change internet providers to either a local internet company like locl.net or a large one that mentions that they don’t sell your information, like Earthlink.

With all this new information you shouldn’t hear the phone ring, unless it is actually someone that wants to talk to you.

Talk to me robbyj@mac.com