Phone spam

Spurred by his success in using facebook to derail the government’s new draconian copyright proposals, Michael Geist has set up a service to complement (perhaps, do the work for) the Canadian do-not-call registry. I signed up for that months ago and still get phone spam. I find this deeply annoying, especially when I have settled into the beanbag and the phone is across the room (who knows what the true cost of spam is?). Here’s Geist and his description of iOptOut:

Regular readers of my work will know that I have been frustrated by Canada’s do-not-call list, which contains far too many exceptions and has taken an embarrassingly long time to become operational.  In response, today I am launching iOptOut, a website that will allow Canadians to opt-out of further phone calls (and emails) from dozens of organizations with a single click.

I began to develop the site soon after the do-not-call bill became law.  The premise is simple – under the law, exempted organizations (which include charities, political parties, polling companies, newspapers, and companies with a prior business relationship) are permitted to make unsolicited telephone calls despite the inclusion of a number in the do-not-call registry. However, organizations must remove numbers from their lists if specifically requested to do so.

IOptOut takes advantage of this approach by allowing Canadians to create and manage a personal do-not-call list that begins where do-not-call legislation ends.  Registrants are be able to view a categorized list of organizations where they can opt-out of further contact.  To do this, the site sends an email notification to each organization requesting that registrants’ name, email address and phone number(s) be removed from their active marketing lists.  The site includes a full FAQ, a blog on the latest do-not-call developments, and wiki that allows users to identify new organizations to include in the iOptOut database.  Users have the choice of keeping their personal data on file to update their opt-outs as new organizations are added or to delete it completely within 24 hours.  More details at the site, which is a work-in-progress, so suggestions are welcome.

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