Like everyone, I get a lot of junk email and have been added to various mailing lists I never signed up for or asked to be on.
I’ve been curious to see if there were specific companies that were worse than others when it comes to selling email addresses. As it turns out, of course there are.
I’ve gotten in the habit of setting up separate email addresses when creating online accounts, which both lets me see which companies are selling my email address, and allows me to delete the addresses receiving a bunch of junk mail.
I signed up for an Ace Rewards account back in March — with the COVID lockdown in place at the time, it seemed like a good way to shop local without having to go into the store. I could order online from my favorite local hardware store, pull up in the parking lot, and a helpful associate would bring out my purchase. Easy peasy!
Shortly after opening my Ace Rewards account, however, the emails from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin started to arrive, addressed to the email alias I had set up for Ace Rewards. One week, DPW emailed eight times. Then there were emails from “Red Rock Secured” trying to entice me into buying gold.
They will sell almost any data they collect about you to virtually anyone.
I’d expect this kind of shady behavior from a multinational like AT&T, but my friendly neighborhood hardware store? This was unexpected. But there it is in black and white:
So, lesson learned — if you want to shop local and not have your data sold to any Tom, Dick or Harry who happens to have a few dollars to throw Ace’s way, try True Value instead.