This morning mail from Dick Smith arrived in my in-box.
You may think: “Nothing unusual there”. After all, many people who subscribed to the Dick Smith mailing list will have had the same message.
Yet, I didn’t subscribe to anything from Dick Smith.
Dick Smith’s receivers sent the message to an address I haven’t used since I left Australian in 2004.
While I never signed up to any mailing list from Dick Smith, I did give my address to a sales person in a store in Sydney many, many years ago.
At the time, I wanted to buy something that wasn’t in stock. The salesperson asked me to leave an email address and phone number so the store could let me when it had stock.
He assured me the address would not be used for marketing purposes. It was only then that I agreed to hand it over.
This was so long ago I forgot what the product was.
To its credit, the old Dick Smith organisation kept its word through at least two changes of ownership. I just checked that old account. There have been no other communications from Dick Smith.
Yet my address has stayed on the database for at least 12 years. I wasn’t even aware it was there. And the receivers sold it without my consent.
I suspect this is illegal. It may be a breach of contract. It is certainly a breach of trust.
The only conclusion I can reach is that any promise to keep data safe is worthless.
Update: More bad faith from the Dick Smith receivers. The form to opt out asks for my full name, then wants me to confirm my address. That could be just another way of confirming data for the database. There’s no mention of my rights here either.