I don’t know a lot about them. It did concern me though that it could be a privacy issue. It says you can email or phone call people after it’s collected the company name and info. However, after having done some email marketing, the only recommended way to contact someone is if they are an existing customer or have given you permission to contact them.
Has anyone had any experience with this service or others like it? Or, what are some opinions on using services like this?
I dunno – it seems to be just B2B, where cold calling can be perfectly acceptable. I don’t see how they could do it otherwise.
The other side of the coin is that you don’t necessarily have to say what prompted you to contact them in the first place, and most people/companies wouldn’t think to ask…
EDIT – …which of course makes the assumption there’s something shady about it. It just seems wrong.
It’s the thought that other people could access the information besides the organization storing it in the first place. You can collect basic information (IP, Location of Query, etc.) but using that information to seek more personal information (Name, Address, Contact Info) and then storing it would be against the law without the customer giving the OK for the organization to do so. That is if my knowledge of law is applying correctly.
OK. Looked it up (briefly). In Ireland, Data protection rights make sure that the information stored about you is:
• factually correct;
• only available to those who should have it; and
• only used for stated purposes.
Those who do collect information about me must:
• get and use the information fairly;
• keep it for only one or more clearly stated and lawful purposes;
• use and make known this information only in ways that are in keeping with these purposes;
• keep the information safe;
• make sure that the information is factually correct, complete and up-to-date;
• make sure that there is enough information – but not too much – and that it is relevant;
• keep the information for no longer than is needed for the reason stated; and
• give you a copy of your personal information when you ask for it.
On top of this they must give you:
• the name of the organisation or person collecting the information or for whom they are collecting the information;
• the reason why they want your details; and
• any other information that you may need to make sure that they are handling your details fairly – for example the details of other organisations or people to whom they may give your personal details.
If an organisation or individual gets your personal details from someone else and not directly from you, they must tell you which details they hold and give you the name of the original data controller.
Obviously, laws are different around the world – equally obvious, they’re not that different. So all in all I would say that the best case scenario is that this use of data is on extremely shaky ground – unless your company announces on its website that it is doing this and will/may contact visitors with a view to marketing in the future. And also gives visitors the right to decline. A messy, messy situation.