Discuss The Sharing Of Address Lists Between Diffe

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Merghani Salih Discuss the Sharing of Address Lists Between Different Companies WHAT IS "INFORMATION SHARING?" "Information sharing" is a marketing practice in which businesses provide information about consumers to one another for purposes of selling goods and services. A great deal of information sharing is relatively innocuous. A merchant may sell a list of customer names and telephone numbers to a marketer. This is information that, in most cases, the marketer could obtain from public sources such as telephone books or city directories. The merchant may even provide some information about what you buy, particular brands of laundry detergent, for instance.

Most people expect that this type of information sharing occurs and really aren't very concerned about it. On the other hand, many people have very different feelings when they learn that detailed information about their personal finances or medical history or addresses even being sold for use in solicitations.

Until recently, most Americans assumed that their relationship with their banker was one of confidentiality, similar to the relationship between a client and an attorney or a patient and a doctor. We assumed that information about our personal finances was private, just between us and the bank. We knew that banks are required to make certain reports to the government, but we assumed that banks would otherwise use our personal information only to complete our business. We never considered that our confidential information was a bank "asset" to be used freely and without our permission to further the bank's business.

Indeed, banks have defended the sale of highly personal and confidential information as "a common industry practice." Some banks have provided very detailed customer information to marketers both inside and outside of the bank. The industry uses the term "information sharing" to describe these activities. From the banks'...