LETTER: Amazon Condemned for Changing Policy

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Ha! Amazon has urinated in the DM community's punch bowl, and eventually all DMers will be forced to drink from it. Rather than applaud Amazon's move to announce a changed privacy policy, the policy itself should be condemned as something that will further tarnish DM as a valid marketing technique.

I think we all know darn well that Amazon is counting on people not reading its new policy and falling into its database by default. I see no reason to applaud its "in your face" policy just because it chose to be so forthright about its adoption. Rather than applaud Amazon for being forthright about the changed policy, the change itself should be condemned.

I don't care what they do with information if a customer affirmatively opts in to having his information marketed to the four winds, but to have this as a default is very bad policy for the DM industry to support.

DMers like Amazon are DMers' worst nightmare -- or should be. You guys seem to have no idea how much folks out here hate intrusive telemarketing and spam, and, to a lesser extent, poorly targeted junk postal mail. Incidents such as Amazon's recent policy are the stuff that triggers serious legislation. Speed the day!

It strikes me Amazon can't make a profit selling books on the Web, so maybe it's planning to sell my private information to try to make up the shortfall. Well, I took my business elsewhere long ago, and I will never, ever come back to Amazon.

I subscribe to the Boulder Pledge, which says, "Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community."

In addition, I will boycott sites that treat my personal information as Amazon now does, and I actively recommend the same to everyone I know. May Amazon rot in Hades.

James B. Higgins

Sumter, SC

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