February 02, 2004
"Spam is bad", experts say

Hold on to your hats, everyone. Experts are telling us that spam may have a bad effect on business and stuff.

The exponential growth of unsolicited junk e-mail -- spam -- is shaking consumer confidence in the Internet and may hamper growth of the e-economy, officials on Monday told a global anti-spam meeting.

A survey published by consumers group the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) showed 52 percent of respondents were shopping less on the Internet or not at all because of concerns about receiving unsolicited junk e-mail.

"It is very clear that the majority of citizens are very troubled by unsolicited commercial e-mails," said the survey, which was released at a spam meeting led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

"It is also very clear that bona fide businesses are losing money because the disreputable image of spam is making consumers uneasy about engaging in e-commerce."

First things first - Whoever wrote the word "e-economy" needs to be put into a long timeout, along with all of the copy editors who let it slide past them. My only consolation is that the writer eschewed "i-economy".

Second, I guess the fact that there's a global anti-spam meeting is news, but the rest of it - there's a lot of spam! it's bad! - is not exactly what I'd call hot off the presses. I was hoping maybe there'd be some progress reported on modifying how SMTP mail is delivered - requiring the sending server to perform a calculation, something that would be trivial for anything but a bulk mailer, seems to be the hot idea - but no.

Personally, I use my old Yahoo address for when a website demands one. I check it once a week and throw out about 80% of the mail it gets unread. Not the best use of time, but it could be worse. I'm very reluctant to give out any other address unless the recipient is someone I know and trust. Probably won't work forever, but so far so good. I think until there is a workable solution to spam, this sort of approach will be more and more widespread.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 02, 2004 to Technology, science, and math | TrackBack