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World Privacy Forum's Top Ten Opt-Outs 162

Ant writes in to mention the World Privacy Forum's top ten information collector/user list, which shows opt-out instructions (or at least a starting point): "As privacy experts, we are frequently asked about 'opting out,' and which opt outs we think are the most important. This list is a distillation of ideas for opting out that the World Privacy Forum has developed over the years from responding to those questions. ... Many people have told us that they think opting out is confusing. We agree. Opting out can range from the not-too-difficult (the FTC's Do Not Call list is a fairly simple opt out) to the challenging (the National Advertising Initiative (NAI) opt out can be tricky). Our hope is that this list will clarify which opt out does what, and how to go about opting out. In this list, some opt outs can be done by phone, some have to be sent in a letter via postal mail, and some can be accomplished online. Some opt outs last forever, some have time limits, and others can be changed at will. If an opt out is on this list, it is because we thought it might be important enough to be worth whatever annoyance it may pose. "
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World Privacy Forum's Top Ten Opt-Outs

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  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Sunday April 26, 2009 @11:12PM (#27725977)

    No, I don't. Mainly because my dad wasn't an asshole.

  • by sonamchauhan ( 587356 ) <sonamc@gmail.3.14159com minus pi> on Sunday April 26, 2009 @11:15PM (#27725989) Journal

    There's only one true opt-out... and it's at the receiver's end.

    This is really possible only if I created a unique, unguessable email address each time I gave my email out.

    This is not as impossible as you think. For instance, Gmail supports the "+arbitrary_tag" convention. So email sent to:
      -- all shows up in the Gmail inbox of ''.

    If you started getting spam at one of the '', you can guess who gave your address out.

    See: []

    Note, Gmail's convention leaves out the 'unguessable' bit of this idea out - so spammers can easily build rules to harvest real addresses from gmail addresses containing a '+' sign.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 26, 2009 @11:29PM (#27726061)

    I always append the name of the domain to which I am submitting information. For example, an email address submitted to would be of the form:

    I then set up an alias on my mail server to accept such emails. Interestingly, I have never received SPAM from any address submitted. All my SPAM comes from people who scrape the whois database entry associated with my domain name.

    The whois thing is backed up by my wife who used to never receive spam. Then she bought a domain name...

  • by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:07AM (#27726285)
    Didn't you read the contract? It's in the small print...

    Even if it is, who cares?

    The point is, if they send you crap, the best way to deal with it is to not respond in any way visible to the spammer. An opt-out is usually seen as a confirmation that you have a valid address. An extra rule or two on your email filter, and/or an extra entry in your hosts file if you want to be thorough about never doing business with the spammer might help.

    Or you could get creative: A few years ago, I was getting a load of mail every day from some travel outfit that had got my address from somewhere, and I couldn't get them to stop. So I collected every address of theirs that I could find and put them all (with mailto links) in a little webpage with a title to the effect that "I am willing to accept all bulk mail; please contact me at the following addresses..." and left the webcrawlers to do their job. The deluge stopped within three days.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:37AM (#27726397)

    I do similarly, and have only ever received spam at an address in that format once: from

  • by gringer ( 252588 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:51AM (#27726697)

    Have a look at []. That page explains it better than I can, but I'll try to give a quick summary.

    In 'simple' mode, you have a username at spamgourmet which is assigned to a particular external address. Each time you sign up for a new thing, you create a custom address which indicates how many emails you wish to receive, e.g. You will never see any more email sent to that address beyond that limit (an advanced customisation is available to reset the counter).

  • by NovaHorizon ( 1300173 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:32AM (#27726899)
    Untrue. Telemarketers can NOT call you past 9pm at night, though I'm unsure how early in the morning. Also, telephone surveys are exempt from the same rules.
  • from 47cfr64.1200 (Score:4, Informative)

    by RobertLTux ( 260313 ) <{gro.nitramecnerual} {ta} {trebor}> on Monday April 27, 2009 @09:30AM (#27728925)

    "(c) No person or entity shall initiate any telephone solicitation,
    as defined in paragraph (f)(12) of this section, to:
            (1) Any residential telephone subscriber before the hour of 8 a.m.
    or after 9 p.m. (local time at the called party's location), or
    " []
    chapter and verse for you (assuming a US location) or as formally titled


    PART 64_MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS-- Subpart L_Restrictions on Telemarketing, Telephone Solicitation, and Facsimile Advertising Sec. 64.1200 Delivery restrictions.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault