Ever since I’ve had my own domain names I’ve allways signed up to website subscriptions using a very unique email address on each site and no 2 websites ever get the same address. The initial intention was so that I could easily block an email address if it ever got onto a spam list.
This also provides the ability to see exactly who has sold my email address to the spammer. Now, there is not much i can actually do in terms of busting the spammers and seeing justice, but I can actively boycott a service.
Here is the first email I got to the last.FM email address a mear 3 weeks after signing up.
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When I contacted the Last.FM support team I got a very pre-scripted reply harping on about them never selling email addresses. To which i found to be rather poor.
My Support Request
I posted this http://www.last.fm/forum/21713/_/2051307 in the forums then was guided to contact support –
“We may use the email address provided by you to contact you from time to time about the Last.fm service. We won’t pass your email address on to anyone to contact you directly about their own products or services, not even Lars Ulrich at gunpoint (unless you have provided your prior consent to do so). Our policy is to provide a clear and easy way for you to opt out of receiving specific types of emails.”
On the same page you provide the ability to request information as to how you have shared information.
“If you would like to obtain information about how we may have shared your information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes, you may send such requests to us via postal mail at: Data Access Request, Last.fm Limited, Karen House, 1-11 Baches Street, London, N1 6DL or contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Please consider this a formal request for such information. It can be delivered to the email address provided on this account OR postal address
I have changed my account settings to “Never contact me by email” and any further communications from “SP Club” or any other third party to this email address will be considered spam delivered VIA Last.FM and subject to appropriate anti spam laws.
Your ugent actions on this matter is highly appreciated.
And Their reply
Thanks for your email.
We’ve had reports from the community that you are seeing spam sent to email
addresses that you use in association with your Last.fm account. We never
give or sell your address to third parties without your explicit consent. So
we are investigating this matter urgently, running a security audit, and
looking at alternative ways the spamming occurred.
We take this abuse of our community very seriously and we appreciate your
understanding and support as we work out what’s going on and put things right
This is the last corespondance i have had in regards the the support ticket, I’ve yet to be informed on “how they have put things right”.
So I decided to actually follow up on their specific instructions and email email@example.com and I heard nothing from them at all, until I received a letter in the post all the way from mother England.
In it, the last.fm legal Group say:
blah blah blah
“We take this opportunity to advise you that if you login with your registered username and password, you will be able to access certain information, including tracks that you have listened to (on your profile page) and messages that you have posted (on the relevant profile or group page), as well as managing your privacy settings.”
2. last.fm operates an API and web services program whereby individuals and business partners can use data collected by last.fm’s Scrobbling and other software. You can see more details here http://www.last.fm/api Typically, this information is in aggregated form and does not allow third parties to identify individual users.
This doesn’t constitute to me their “usage of my personal data” nor does it explain how a spammer email group got a hold of a unique email address that only last.fm knew about.