Violating a privacy policy

Today I received a survey from the congressman that serves my area, Duncan Hunter. (Notice I didn’t say my congressman, I don’t think he serves my interests.). The survey was sent to an email address that I used once to fill out a form to tell the congressman to stop sending paper newsletters.

Well, it turns out that the congressman has violated the United States House Of Representatives Privacy policy which states:

Any personally-identifying information which you choose to provide. For example your mailing address, in an electronic mail message or web form requesting information or commenting on current legislative issues. Information collected in this manner is used solely for information and, in some cases, to respond to you. Please also see Security and Policy Notices posted on individual Member, Committee and other House office web sites for information on how individual offices may use the data you choose to provide them via forms on their sites.

It doesn’t say that I can be contacted for a survey, does it? Furthermore, there was no unsubscribe link in the survey. This is almost a violation of the CAN-SPAM act as the act requires a way to opt-out. However, since this wasn’t an ad, it probably doesn’t violate it.

Duncan Hunter, stop sending me unsolicited paper and electronic mail. While you are trying to use technology to be in touch with your constituents, you are doing it in a way to further tick us (me) off.

2 Replies to “Violating a privacy policy”

  1. He’s your Congressman, I don’t understand what the big deal is.
    As a constituent, he was every right to send paper mailings to you, your address is public information when you register to vote.

    The privacy policy is debatable, I would count a survey as “information”
    Plus, I believe can-spam pertains to only commercial/private sector mail

    1. While Duncan Hunter has the right to send me paper mail, I contacted him to tell him that it was a waste of paper and that he should try to preserve natural resources by not sending it and going electronic. As for him sending me a survey, this is typical politician behavior where laws are enacted to prevent business from doing slimy things, but allows politicians to do it. If a survey had been sent out by a business using names gathered where the privacy policy didn’t say that they could be used for that purpose, the business would have been in trouble. Also, the survey had no way to opt-out, something that companies are not allowed to do and the company would have people all over them, including politicians.

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