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State of Maine AG OKs spam List

which references;

emailIINSIDER - Fishy Business

email received from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

As you know, the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife periodically sends out informational emails to our online customers. We only send these e-mails out to customers who have indicated that they would like to receive them.

Recently, we had a Freedom of Access Act request from an individual who represents an organization for our customer e-mail address list. The Freedom of Access Act is a statute that requires a state agency to provide public records to anyone upon request. Our initial response to the individual was that our customer e-mail address list was not a public record and was therefore not covered by the Freedom of Access Act. The individual appealed our decision with the Maine Attorney General's office that ruled in favor of the individual and directed IF&W to provide our customer e-mail address list to the individual. Therefore, we have recently provided our customer e-mail address list to the requesting individual per the direction of the Maine Attorney General's Office.

The list contains only e-mail addresses, no other personal data is on the list. We wanted you to know that we did everything in our power to protect your privacy and apologize in advance for any issues this may cause you.

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, click...

closing comments;

Counting the number of people on state lists of those holding fishing licenses alone, this amounts to tens of millions of people. Not good. I dread to think of the many people on other lists that could potentially fall victim to such actions, lists far more sensitive than those relating to activities like fishing.

Of course, some will argue that all this represents nothing more than a smart approach to the letter of the law. But if you have any interest at all in preserving the trust necessary for the furtherance of email marketing -- and the slightest understanding of business ethics -- I would suggest that the ruling of the Maine Attorney General's office in this case sets a precedent that is at best a double-edged sword for the industry. Even more likely, this action will be ultimately damaging, accelerating the path to an intensified confrontation with the privacy lobby and increasing the potential for related legislation.

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