HSBC Redefines "Opt-in," Won't Accept "No" For An Answer

HSBC Redefines "Opt-in," Won't Accept "No" For An Answer

Daniel came across this page while logging in to his credit card account. “I can sign up, sign up, say yes or be reminded later. I couldn’t find anywhere on this page that would let me say ‘No, I don’t want this’,” he writes. “It seems kind of, well, wrong to not give a customer the option to NOT opt in.” [More]

How To Opt Out Of Apple's iAds Service, Eventually

How To Opt Out Of Apple's iAds Service, Eventually

If you don’t want Apple collecting data on you and using it to target you with ads starting July 1st, you can opt out from “any device running iOS 4,” says AppleInsider. The opt-out is automatic when you hit up http://oo.apple.com from an iOS 4 device, and as far as I can tell you can’t undo it, so don’t click the link unless you really want to opt out. Also, it’s not working at the moment. [More]

Google Says It Will Ask Early Buzz Users To Doublecheck Their Privacy Settings

Google Says It Will Ask Early Buzz Users To Doublecheck Their Privacy Settings

Wired reports that Google will offer a do-over to early users of Buzz, the social network service that has earned the company criticism and a class-action lawsuit. [More]

Microsoft E-mails You as a Reminder That You Opted Out of Receiving E-mails

Microsoft E-mails You as a Reminder That You Opted Out of Receiving E-mails

Taking a page from the grossly overpriced playbook of Barnes & Noble college bookstores, earlier this week MIcrosoft sent an e-mail to users of the myriad Windows Live and MSN services reminding them that they…had opted not to receive e-mail from Microsoft. Um, thanks?

Barnes & Noble College Bookstores Sends Email Reminder That You Don't Want Them To Send You Email

Barnes & Noble College Bookstores Sends Email Reminder That You Don't Want Them To Send You Email

Gosh, this is really thoughtful of the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the Georgia Tech campus. They sent Steve an email reminder that at some point in the past, he explicitly opted out of receiving any email communications from them in the future. See, he may have forgotten that he didn’t want to be contacted, and how else would he remember it if B&N didn’t contact him to let him know? Update: Shane at Mississippi State University received the same helpful reminder from his campus bookstore, also run by B&N.

Nashville Electric Service Donates To Charity With Customers' Money, But Not Their Permission

Nashville Electric Service Donates To Charity With Customers' Money, But Not Their Permission

Nashville Electric Service (NES) decided it would be a good idea to round up each customer’s bill to the nearest dollar, then take that extra change to donate to charity. It’s a great idea, and since the total amount donated per year can’t exceed $11.88, it’s not a hardship on most people. But there are a few problems. First, NES chooses the charities, if that matters to you. What’s more troublesome is that NES plans to opt-in every customer when the program begins on January 2009 without asking for explicit permission—if you pay your electricity bill through NES, you’ll donate to their charities next year, thank you very much.

Charter Announces It Will Abandon User Tracking

Charter Announces It Will Abandon User Tracking

Last month we reported on Charter Communications’ plan to start tracking its users internet activity in order to serve more targeted ads. Charter claimed customers could opt-out of the service, but a reader reviewed Charter’s opt-out method and discovered that even if you said no, you would still be tracked. Yesterday Charter announced it was abandoning the program and will not track its customers’ activities after all—at least for the immediate future.

Location-Based Cell Phone Ads Launching Soon

Location-Based Cell Phone Ads Launching Soon

PC World has an overview of Loopt, which will begin testing location-based advertising via CBS Mobile in the near future. What’s notable about the service—aside from the fun concept of triangulating location via cell towers—is that Loopt and CBS Mobile “seem to have made most of the right choices for privacy.” That includes the service being opt-in instead of opt-out, and no personal data (such as account info or phone number) being sent back upstream. The targeted ads replace existing ads as well, so there’s not a location-based spammy increase in advertising with the service. This is the kind of advertising we “like”—localized, relevant, and anonymous on our side of things.

KidsStuff.com Silently Charges $18 Subscription Fee To Grandparent Who Shopped There Two Years Ago

KidsStuff.com Silently Charges $18 Subscription Fee To Grandparent Who Shopped There Two Years Ago

C writes in with another lesson on why you should check your statements frequently:Two years ago I purchased items for my grandchildren at KidsStuff.com. This month (March 2008) I found an $18.00 charge from them on my American Express card.