Terms and Conditions may apply…

From Stop Using Unroll.Me, Right Now. It Sold Your Data to Uber, by Sam Biddle (italics mine):

Tucked away in a rollicking New York Times profile of amoral Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a tidbit about Unroll.me, a popular service that aims to rescue your email inbox from unwanted newsletters and promotional messages with an easy automated unsubscribe service. The problem is, it’s been selling you out to advertisers, and you should stop using it immediately.”

“This is a capability it’s safe to wager virtually none of Unroll.me’s users are aware of, let alone comfortable with. Indeed, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Jojo Hedaya, immediately penned a pro forma apology blog for the ages, in which he says he and his staff “weren’t explicit enough” about terms that allow, as Unroll.me’s privacy policy puts it, the company to “collect, use, transfer, sell, and disclose … transactional or relationship messages.” Hedaya joins a historic chorus of Silicon Valley executives who say what they always do when they’ve been found out: “We Can Do Better,” as the title of the CEO’s blog post declares:

I can’t stress enough the importance of your privacy. We never, ever release personal data about you. All data is completely anonymous and related to purchases only. To get a sense of what this data looks like and how it is used, check out the Slice Intelligence blog.

This is by all evidence false: If your privacy were important to Jojo Hedaya, the contents of your email, even if anonymized, would not be for sale. Were he ever serious about keeping your inbox private, an apology blog wouldn’t have been needed to begin with. (Hedaya and his co-founder could not be reached for comment.)”

Read the rest here:


Also relevant (italics mine):

“The CEO of Unroll.me has now published a blog post defending its business practices that were called out in the NY Times piece on Uber. Specifically, the post refers to the fact that Unroll.me sold anonymized data it gathered from people’s inboxes to Uber. The data consisted of receipts for Lyft rides, which Uber used to build competitive counter-models. This data is likely very valuable in the right context — akin to an app analytics service for people’s spending habits.

Selling anonymized data is not uncommon for free services like Unroll.me and its owner Slice — Slice even pitches its powerful data set publicly. But many appear to feel shocked that they were not more clearly informed that if you are not paying with money you still have to pay somehow. Unroll.me CEO Jojo Hedaya said that it was “heartbreaking to see that some of our users were upset to learn about how we monetize our free service.”

He made no indications that it would alter this practice in the future.”

Read the rest here:



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