Data for sale?

One of the frustrations of daily life, in my case at least, is the constant email pings – mostly from people trying to sell me stuff I don’t want. It can be really irritating. I go from simply deleting emails to ‘unsubscribing’ to entering dialogue.


The dialogue can be fun – especially the Nigerian scammers. I usually suggest the brown paper bag full of wonga will work well for me. Sadly, the emails stop…

Last week I had a spam email from someone who invited me to email them if I had received the mail in error. I did and, much to my surprise, they responded. It seems that they had been sold my details by DataHQ. I emailed them to ask them to stop sending me junk and this morning they have replied – they were sold my details by ‘118 Information’. I have now emailed them!

This whole data industry is supposed to be changing next year with the introduction of ‘GDPR‘. The primary objective of the GDPR is to give control back to us over our personal data. It should stop spam emails. The fine for non-compliance could be 4% of turnover.

I do find this intrusion irritating, but the fact that our data is being sold and re-sold is even more annoying. I notice that a number of these data mining companies are offering special sales of their email lists – they are about to become much less valuable I suspect!

As a business we do have email address lists and we are having to work hard on cleaning the data and, specifically, requiring people to opt-in to our news. It is no longer acceptable to be passive about data – and this must be a good thing?

I have a feeling that GDPR, as good as the intentions are, will not have much effect!


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