January 26, 2006

Bitchy about CC:

I had a fairly snippy exchange this week with an executive from a local psych provider looking to market to the GLBT community vis a vis using CC: vs BCC: for email. He sent out an announcement which had over 100 email addresses on it (and visible) - including most of the local GLBT community. I asked him to use BCC: in future, citing privacy, spam, viruses, HIPAA, and the dreaded accidental REPLY TO ALL. He was not receptive.

A good technical discussion of my concerns can be found here.

The exchange and the personal nature of it got to me; I decided to stop being whiny and start being cold, calm, and officious. From now on, when I get this sort of email, I simply will redirect it to a special email account I have set up. The account has an auto-responder which will sned back the following email:
This is an automated message.

You recently sent an email to my-domain.com as part of a large distribution list using Carbon Copies, or CC: for the distribution list. As a result, each person on the list can see the entire distribution list, and each persons email address is available to all of the persons on the list.

In order to reduce SPAM and abuse of such lists, as well as to preserve privacy, I would prefer not to be included in mailings from persons using this form of distribution.

If you are able to switch over to an anonymous form of bulk emailing (such as using BCC: or Blind Carbon Copy) I would be most appreciative.

There is a good discussion of my concerns with regard to this practice here: http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~watrous/bcc-for-privacy.html

If you are not able to make this change, or would prefer not to, kindly remove all my-domain.com email addresses from your distibution list; I would prefer not to receive these emails.

Thank you

1 comment:

Don Watrous said...

Hi Jude,

I ran across this blog entry when someone followed a link from it to my BCC site. Did you ever convince this guy to use BCC? If not, I think I have a way to do it.

"Reply all" to his message. Explain your correspondence with this exec (presumably a representative of this health care provider) and his reluctance to protect their email addresses by concealing them when sending a mass mailing. Ask anyone who objects to their email address being publicized in this fashion to send him a brief note something along the line of "If you intend to send me any further mailings of this sort, I would appreciate it if my name and email address are not included in either the To: or CC: fields." I hope the number of messages he gets would turn him around.

Keep up the good fight!