Most of us don't really have an expectation of privacy anymore. That's just the reality of our tech-obsessed world. Websites gather our information and sell it to advertisers every day. Hell, probably every second of the day. And even though we know this, some examples of it can really get under our skin. Take what happened to Mike Seay for example. He received some startling junk mail from OfficeMax. The envelope was addressed to "Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash." Heartbreaking AND despicable. The year before, his 17-year-old daughter Ashley had died in an accident with her boyfriend. Why did the office supply giant do something so insensitive?
In a statement, OfficeMax explained that they got the information from a "mailing list rented through a third-party provider." In this technological age, we are all nothing but bits and pieces of personal data sold off to anyone who wants it.
In my opinion, that doesn't excuse this particular affront. Can you imagine the gut-wrenching pain of seeing that address? They had experienced the worst thing any parent could and then to see "... Daughter Killed In Crash" on a mailing that held some crappy discount coupon.
When Seay called OfficeMax to inform them of what they had done, a customer service rep refused to believe him. And a spokesperson for the company "acted the same way," he said. He went on to explain that he doesn't want to sue the company but he wants some kind of apology for the emotional trauma it has caused his wife. He certainly deserves that at the very least.
He also wants to know how the store got such personal information. Why in the world were they sold information on how his daughter died? Sadly, he probably won't like the answer. Our personal information is nothing but a commodity, a product bought and sold like any other. And if it's not sold, it's stolen. Just look at what Target customers have had to endure after millions of credit and debit card numbers and other information were taken by hackers. It's just not right.
Do you think anything be done to stop this?
Image via Windell Oskay/Flickr