Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Discussion Point – The gift that invades your privacy?

This is going to be another one of those post where I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to day and even if I wanted to address this topic on the blog – but here goes..

A couple of weeks ago I go a parcel through my front door, not a registered (special delivery) or signed for mail, just regular mail but well packaged.Thinking nothing of it as I am a blogger and after all every blogger who has been around the block a time or two knows how the system the works.

  • 1. You share your address with friend you make on the net
  • 2. you share address for those prized you have won or want to win
  • 3. you share address with the multiple publishers that we want to get onto their reviews list if that is what you  do
  • 4. The things we buy that has to be delivered
  • 5.  I could go on, but you get the drift..

So nothing new there about getting a piece of mail. Where my concerns comes in and this didn’t hit until a while after I had open the parcel.

From the picture below you can see someone sent me an e-reader. Yup. I wont deny it – I was grinning like a loon when I open the package but after going through the entire thing I could not find one single solitary piece of documentation to say who sent the item and that is where my concern lies. (It came in the original box, brand new with all the attachment and product documentation)

I worked out a game plan to see if I could find out who sent this to me…

  • 1.No family or friends accepted responsibility,
  • 2.I contacted the Royal Mail and was told that outside of a police investigation to track this, it would appear this was simply a package someone just post to me without any track back details and they couldn’t tell me any how despite my concerns.
  • 3.I took the bull by the horn and went right to the manufactures'/distributor – I was told “that product is not available in the U K and their only explanation was that it was send as a part of a promotional event”. To be honest they weren’t even concerned that I had it and without any documentation – I don’t think so!!!.

Are any of you getting my scared shitless feeling now. Not scared by the gift, because come on – why look a gift horse in the mouth, but I was feeling a little edgy by how easy it is to get my address and name and post something to me without solicitation  and without even a note or some paper work to say who this was from.

I mentioned this to some other bloggers and friends and the reactions ranged from full scale giggles (like – go you! you got an e-reader) to more pragmatic bloggers who just came to the same the conclusion I did, accept it for the gift it is but don't be naive to what can actual pop up with the mailman.

Some of the facts.

I have always been a ebook girl. My Iliad went kaput about 8 mnths ago – but I have clear things I like in an e-reader and have never replaced it as I have other gadget and gizmo at home I can read my ebooks from, there is also cost implication and lastly it wasn’t a priority of my life in the big scheme of things.

I have shared emails during this time with people and some have even sent me links to new e-readers on the market or upcoming e-readers and I have mentioned a time or two on the blog here my ideal product.

So it’s not a foreign idea to know that someone knows I am in the market for an e-reader if the product is right – but to actually send one out and not even one that can be found outside of one place so far and it’s not even available to buy there yet either is a little concerning for me.

The reality

I am just like all the other people whose name goes into any publishers database when you are apart of this book blogger industry, I get every thing, when I say everything, I mean I get everything in my mail. Books, toys, trinkets, tickets, novelty item and I even have a not so good relationship with the neighbours because they get my packages sometimes, but there is always some paperwork there, some idea of why it came or something for me to be able to say I can see how I got these.

This e-reader – nothing.

Your thoughts

Am I being a worry wart and should accept this for what it is?

or

Am I right to be suitably concerned?

Anything here sounds familiar to you?

 

13 Speak To Me:

Tam on 8 December 2010 at 21:02 said...

Well, I'd probably just accept it but I'd be wondering who loves me enough to anonymously send me an gift worth a couple of hundred dollars. There was no return address? What about a post mark? Can you at least tell which city it was mailed from? For me that's art of who would have my address. I could probably narrow it down to a few guesses based on that, but if it was sent directly from the manufacturer/reseller (i.e. Amazon) then there should be some kind of a packing slip, even if they sent it "anonymously" you'd think there is some data on the form, an order number, etc. that would let them track it. What if it had gone missing? That's a pretty expensive box to disappear into the mail.

I wouldn't freak out, but I'd be wondering why someone wouldn't reveal themselves and be kind of mystified and probably a bit annoyed at them for making me think about all this to start with.

Blodeuedd on 8 December 2010 at 21:16 said...

O_O an e-reader, you got an e-reader in the mail! You lucky woman, I would just party like it was 1999...and then I might freak out and wonder if it's a bomb or something.

But perhaps you won it somewhere...or Santa is real :D

Val on 8 December 2010 at 21:33 said...

I don't think you have anything to worry about in this specific situation, EH, but I share your concerns about how easy it is for people to track other people through the internet due to the prevalence of internet search firms aggressively collecting and circulating everyone's personal information.

I mean, there are free internet searches (I won't name them because I don't want to promote them) that will bring up sattelite photos of a person's house along with their complete address and phone number. They get this information, at least in the US, from sources such as change-of-address cards from the U.S. Mail, and things that you can't opt out of like paying your utilities (electric bill, water) or owning a house (which is part of public records). The privacy lawas haven't caught up with the internet age.

Anyway, it definitely is startling, but I wouldn't be surprised if your mystery person reveals himself or herself or themselves soon after reading this blog post.

Chris on 8 December 2010 at 22:39 said...

It wasn't me!

I'd worry a little, but not overly so. And, like Val, I hope that the gifter reveals him/herself after reading this post.

Patti (Book Addict) on 9 December 2010 at 00:46 said...

I'm with Tam on this one - obviously someone cares enough to gift you with a free e-reader. She also asked my ques - was there a city on the postmark?

Sounds like a case of anonymous gifting; enjoy!!

Kris on 9 December 2010 at 07:01 said...

Erm, I'd probably freak out...

REALLY freak out.

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 12:46 said...

@Tam..

I went through all of the above that you mentioned..

Apparently it was a Franked piece of mail - like those comming out of an offices. So other than London and Date, nothing else is on the package except my details...

That's one of the reasons I found it so odd...

but I'd be wondering why someone wouldn't reveal themselves and be kind of mystified and probably a bit annoyed at them for making me think about all this to start with


Exactly my point.. Why worry me ...

I agree, it is a nice gift and I do apprecite it...

:)

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 12:57 said...

@Bloduedd...

I am thrilled to have it - it is a good piece of kit....

but would be nice to know who send it to me though ...

:)

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:08 said...

@Val

I share your concerns about how easy it is for people to track other people through the internet due to the prevalence of internet search firms aggressively collecting and circulating everyone's personal information

Funnily my kids were the first to giggle about the situation as I am so hyper vigilant about how much info they put on the internet about themselves..

But in this techy age where everything from banking to medical details are online - I really should not be surprised at anything...

And I do hope whoever send the ereader do reveal themself...I woud at least like to say thank you..

:}

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:10 said...

@Chris...

I get so paranoid about what comes in my mail - I am more than a little worried.. not good for my stress level...


:)

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:12 said...

@ Patti..

It is sweet to be thought of - but leave me a note please --LOL..

anonymous gifting; enjoy

I am actually - it's not space age like some of the ereaders out there, but it works for me...

:)

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:12 said...

@Kris..

So speaks the voice of reason....

Thanks hon...

:)

Eyre on 10 December 2010 at 02:15 said...

I would be concerned, but I'm a paranoid person naturally.. I work really hard to make sure my real name, etc., can't be connected to my blog because of the moral turpitude clause in my contract.. There have only been a couple of incidences when I've given my actual name/address.