said by nwrickert: said by red2 :
I forsee in the not to distant future you'll call your friend or email your brother to say that you were involved in a car accident to suddenly get flooded by a batch of "kind" emails from law firms telling you that there's good money to be made on misfortune.
That probably happens already. When you report an accident, that report is probably a discoverable public document.
That is very true. But there is one big difference.
If a company wants to go digging in public records, go to it. (As long as those records are not put online by the Hall of Records as being in the public's interest.)
In this case, we have what amounts to a utility, like a phone company, saying that we will monitor your calls and we even record them, for our marketing purposes. So if we decide that there is money to be made selling them to sleaze #1, we'll do it. And if sleaze #2 offers us more money, we might give it to them too.
Now before you state that yahoo mail is free. That's true and it isn't. Like TV, most of these services are add supported. So if you have to suffer the advertising, then why should you also have to suffer having your emails sold to the highest bidder.
This is no longer that you should just "consider what you say in an email because it isn't private", this is a company telling you upfront, we're going to use the contents of your emails for our marketing purposes. In the first case, the issue is that someone "might" read it. In the second case, it is that someone IS going to read, IS going to scan it for posterity, and is probably going to sell it.