When Lawyer Meets Internet18 Mar 2014
In today's episode of "Doing it Terribly Wrong", I give you an email I received today which demonstrates almost every possible thing you can do wrong in an email.
Specific Disclosure & Compliance
This email refers to the suppression of the recipient’s email address.
Your Email Ref: REDACTED
This email address was captured in the course of research which was commissioned by BDFP Legal from a third party research organisation.
For details of the research organisation’s Privacy Policies see the information here:
No-Reply: Please do not reply to this email. This is an automated email notification.
Unsubscribe: There is no need to ‘Unsubscribe’ as this will be the only notification which will be sent to you in respect of the research database subscription.
This email is not an advertisement or marketing message under the terms of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. We do not trade on a retail basis, and you cannot purchase any goods or services from us.
PRIVACY & PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION
Inter alia, the purpose of this email is to confirm that no Identifiable Personal Data is held on any Natural Person using the email address in question.
The databases in question are purely corporate database which cover trading entities, companies, institutions, and organisations.
Identifiable Personal Data is programmatically disassociated with email addresses and any Identifiable Personal Data is eliminated before it can enter the database.
The information contained in this e-mail message is privileged and/or confidential and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.
If you have received this communication in error, please immediately destroy this message.
So what is this BDFP Legal entity?
This email came from firstname.lastname@example.org, which is the first strike against them.
Their web site seems to indicate they are a law firm, however there is no way to contact them. I also took a look at their whois information but it doesn't tell me much since they've placed whois privacy on it.
So I can't reply, I can't unsubscribe, or otherwise remove myself from their database, my name is part of the email address, so clearly it is personally identifiable data, and basically I'm just supposed to archive the message and move on.
But at least they've taken the space in their footer to tell me I cannot distribute or copy this information...oops, looks like I just did that. I'll have you know that I "destroyed" the message by marking it as spam, so at least there's that.
The sad part is that I'm familiar with The Data Insititute as they are a fairly well-known brand. I hope that they consider the impact of what their partners do and set policies that avoid these types of emails going out in the future.