EPIC Seeks to Block ETour Database Sale

Share this content:
The advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Attorneys General to investigate and block the sale of eTour customer data to Ask Jeeves.

"We're asking the FTC and the state attorneys general to prevent eTour.com from violating its privacy policy," said Andrew Shen, policy analyst at EPIC, Washington. "ETour.com's privacy policy is very clear that it will never share, sell or transfer information to a third party. However, it did so by selling its assets to Ask Jeeves."

EPIC alleges that the sale of data for 4.5 million registered eTour users violates the eTour privacy policy, which stated that, "eTour will not give out your name, residence address, or e-mail address to any third parties without your permission, for any reason, at any time, ever."

The sale took place May 22 when Ask Jeeves acquired key assets of direct marketing company eTour, including its Web property, delivery engine, a database of 4.5 million registered users and a list of 2.2 million e-mail newsletter subscribers.

Ask Jeeves does not think the sale of the eTour database was improper and claims that it will honor the eTour privacy policy and continue to operate the eTour Web site.

"We intend to use the eTour customer list only to provide the service that those users requested," said Heather Staples, spokeswoman for Ask Jeeves Inc., Emeryville, CA. "Ask Jeeves will e-mail all of the registered users, alerting them to the transaction and giving them the opportunity to opt out."

ETour could not be reached for comment, and Staples said the company is "essentially out of business."

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above