The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

Search this blog

Recent Posts

On Twitter

About this page and the author

The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

David Fraser's Facebook profile

Privacy Calendar



Subscribe with Bloglines

RSS Atom Feed

RSS FEED for this site

Subscribe to this Blog as a Yahoo! Group/Mailing List
Powered by

Subscribe with Bloglines
Add to Technorati Favorites!

Blogs I Follow

Small Print

The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

NYT Ethicist: Opt-in is a matter of manners as much as it is a matter of morals 

From today's The Ethicist in the New York Times:

I am a fund-raiser at a not-for-profit. Part of my job is building up a list of people we can solicit financial support from. Last summer we worked on a voter-registration drive. My co-workers suggested that we add the names from registration forms to our database, pointing out that they are public information, and people can opt out of our list. Ethical? Anonymous, Tucson

Junk mail is in the eye of the beholder, like conjunctivitis; you should not contribute to the spread of either. Even if you legally obtain public information and use it for only a worthy cause, you should get permission before adding anyone to your mailing list. It's a matter of manners as much as morals. Besides, you'll do your cause little good if you vex potential supporters by bombarding them with unwanted mail.

Worse still, no matter how fastidious your organization, mailing lists have a way of escaping and snaking off to other, less scrupulous, mailers where they proliferate wildly, the kudzu of postbox and cyberspace. To avoid fertilizing this noxious underbrush, you should invite people to opt in to your database, not just allow them to opt out.


Links to this post:

Create a Link

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Creative Commons License
The Canadian Privacy Law Blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License. lawyer blogs