Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Yahoo Knows Best, Resets Users' Marketing Prefs 516

Anonymous Coward writes ""Yahoo is pulling a good one on everyone. As a matter of some changes on their system, they have kindly reset everyone's marketing preferences. So,when you signed into Yahoo for a Yahoo ID, you were given a chance to set what sort of notices you wanted yahoo advertisers to send to you, well, they just set EVERYTHING to Yes for you. The poster was kind enough to include instructions on how to turn these settings back. In related news, we've signed you all up for a /. newsletter! (I am so just kidding.)
To change this...

Go to your Account Information screen (for each and every ID you have) and about mid screen you will see "Edit Your Marketing Preferences" link. Click on it and set them back to the way you want them, otherwise get ready for *LOTS* of advertising spam type emails from Yahoo's advertisers. Note also at the bottom, that you will be marked YES for 'By US Mail' and 'By Phone' as well."

In additional Yahoo News, smagruder writes: "Starting today, I noticed that Yahoo! stopped forwarding my mail and when I go to setup/change the POP Access/Forwarding settings, they display a page for me to give them money to get my mail forwarding back. The issue: In their recent widely distributed press release, Yahoo! said that this all would start on April 24, NOT March 28!"

Update: 03/29 20:24 GMT by J : Yes, of course Yahoo is a TrustE customer. For a small fee, TrustE certifies: "You can edit your Yahoo! Account Information, including your marketing preferences, at any time." Isn't that great? I can edit my marketing preferences that I had no reason to know existed! Thanks, TrustE!

Update: 04/07 11:54 GMT by J : Nine days later, Yahoo notified me that these preferences existed:

From: Yahoo! <>
To: [me]
Subject: Message from Yahoo! about changes to our Privacy Policy and your Marketing Preferences


In order to keep you up to date about our many new products
and services and how they might be of use to you, we have
created a new Marketing Preferences page

within the Account Information area. It is designed to make
it easier for you to manage the marketing communications
you receive from Yahoo! and ensure you get the latest
relevant information to meet your needs. We have reset your
marketing preferences and, unless you decide to change
these preferences, you may begin receiving marketing messages
from Yahoo! about ways to enhance your Yahoo! experience,
including special offers and new features. Your new marketing
preferences will not take effect until 60 days after the date
of this mailing so you have plenty of time to decide what you
want to receive and what you don't. To change your
preferences, go to the Marketing Preferences page.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Yahoo Knows Best, Resets Users' Marketing Prefs

Comments Filter:
  • Illegal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alwayslurking ( 555708 ) <jason,boissiere&gmail,com> on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:05PM (#3249321)
    Anyone care to comment on the US legality of signing people up to snail mail, telemarketing lists after they've explicitly opted out? Seems very dubious to me.
    • Re:Illegal? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kamel Jockey ( 409856 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:09PM (#3249356) Homepage

      Laws on telemarketing lists most likely do not apply here. In a strictly legal sense, Yahoo could be considered an opt-in list since you explicitly and voluntarily signed up for the service. Because of that, they can do with your account on their servers as they wish. On the other hand, laws governing opt-out lists work because you never voluntarily signed up on a telemarketer's calling list.

      • Re:Illegal? (Score:2, Informative)

        by SquadBoy ( 167263 )
        Yes the laws about telemarkting *do* apply. When I signed up for an email account I told them not to call me or give my info to others in short I did in fact opt out. They have now put me on a telemarkting list after I told them to take me off and in fact to never put me there in the first place. It very much does apply.
        • Re:Illegal? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stienman ( 51024 )
          No, the laws about telemarketing do NOT apply. You are signing up for an email service. Have you read their service agreement lately? If you never signed up for mail then normal telemarketing laws/regulations would apply, but since you signed up for their service you agreed to whatever they got you to agree to - including being able to change their service agreement and privacy policy without notice and at will.

          Oh - I forgot - you don't spend time reading those, do you?

      • I agree to an extent in that they're free to do whatever they want with the information you've given them, provided they don't break their own written policies or other contractual agreements that you might have made while signing up.

        If their privacy policy states that they won't give your information out if you ask them not to, then you definitely have grounds for action if they've gone ahead and done so.

        But if it doesn't, and there's nothing on the site that might imply that that is the case, then asking you what your preference is as far as marketing your personal information doesn't legally bind them to honoring that preference. It carries as much weight as a poll does.

        (Though I am not a lawyer.)
        • I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

          They clearly state what they're offering in return for what they're taking. They provide you with a certain type of email with certain types of marketing, while you provide them information and bet battered with annoying blinking ads.

          They're plain and simply not free to change this or to use information you provided for other purposes.


          • I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice.

            Even so, lawyers have been known to have differing opinions about and interpretations of law. That's why as a final tie-breaker in tough cases we sometimes refer people to a group of nine highly respected lawyers.

            They're plain and simply not free to change this or to use information you provided for other purposes. Prove it. If all this does is result in you getting email from them then they have only contacted their own customers, which is not illegal. In fact, their terms of service clearly state "Yahoo provides its service to you, subject to the following Terms of Service ('TOS'), which may be updated by us from time to time without notice to you." Which is pretty much carte blanche to do what they want.

            Furthermore their privacy policy states: Yahoo! does not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with other people or nonaffiliated companies except to provide products or services you've requested, when we have your permission, or under the following circumstances: We provide the information to trusted partners who work on behalf of or with Yahoo! under confidentiality agreements. These companies may use your personal information to help Yahoo! communicate with you about offers from Yahoo! and our marketing partners. However, these companies do not have any independent right to share this information. ... Which is pretty much whenever they feel like it.

            Finally, they clearly are in the business of providing services in exchange for your acceptance of targeted advertising. This is not SPAM (which is not typically targeted in any way). This is simply targeted advertising delivered via email.
          • by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @05:28PM (#3249801)
            It's been a while since I created my Yahoo! account, but by the time you receive this screen with marketing preferences, you've already given them your contact information, a decision you've made solely on the information in their terms of service and privacy policy.

            THEN they ask you what your preference is regarding using your contact information for marketing purposes. You've already given implicit consent for them to use it by signing up in the first place (according to their privacy policy).

            Now, I still consider it very shady and unethical for them to turn around and say, "I know you said no, but we don't really care," but:

            a. I don't *think* there's any legal issue here; and
            b. This is all assuming that these 'marketing categories' existed when you signed up in the first place. Their privacy policy seems to imply that they can add 'marketing categories' to their site later and assume an 'opt-in' policy for everyone that doesn't explicitly re-visit and opt-out.

            So while I'm just as annoyed at Yahoo! as everyone else is, and find that this practice (assuming it was even deliberate) to be very shady, it's definitely arguable as to whether or not legal retaliation is warranted or possible.

            (In my opinion.)
    • Re:Illegal? (Score:2, Funny)

      by czardonic ( 526710 )
      Didn't you hear? We need more commerce to strengthen our economy. The least you could do is pay attention to the urgent commercial updates that are painstakenly assembled for you by patriotic marketing operations. What, with all the human effort and natural resources devoted to these campaigns, the least you could do is read them. Would it absolutely kill you to buy something you don't need or want once in a while?
    • by shawnmelliott ( 515892 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:26PM (#3249470) Journal
      NOTICE: Since you've posted to /. we have kindly modified your preferences

      [Y] Spam
      [Y] Pr0n
      [Y] support HP merger
      [Y] something..something...cowboyneal

      Have a nice day
    • In New York State you can register you phone number(s) on a Do Not Call [] list. Any telemarketer (with exceptions for politics and those with whom you have a "prior business relationship") who calls a number registered with the state is liable for fines up to $2000. So Yahoo might be able to get away with calling you, but not some other business you have no relationship with who they've given your number to.
    • Maybe this is Vixie's golden opportunity. RBL Yahoo? WOW! that'll cause an uproar.
  • The bright side of this is they also reset my info so that I would get all these offers sent to my Yahoo email account. All I use Yahoo for is Fantasy Baseball so they can spam that email account to their hearts' content.
  • I think they implemented the restriction on POP3 access a week or so ago. I emailed their support people and got a canned response. I replied to that, as directed, for more assistance. I got the same canned reply. Then I saw that they were going to start charging.

    I use this as my "junk" account, anyway, so it doesn't bother me too much. But it's annoying that they can (and will) change my preferences for me. What else are they changing (or monitoring) without my consent?
    • I seem to be able to get POP3 access just fine still. Are you sure you didn't turn off access to Yahoo Delivers (an advertising service) when you set all your other marketing preferences to no?

      Yahoo only provides POP access if you agree to accept some spam as part of Yahoo Delivers. The yes/no setting for this is just under all the marketing preferences, and I'm guessing that turning it off will instantly block your POP3 connections.

  • IANAL, but I wonder if there is an opportunity for a Class Action case here? Does Yahoo! have the right to do this?

    I must say, Yahoo! seems to have gone way downhill in the past year or two. I just don't even go there anymore.

    • by cjpez ( 148000 )
      Yeah, why don't you go set that up? I'm sure that a judge will be just ecstatic to hear about how a bunch of people using a free service are upset at what the people providing the free service want to do with it. I'll sign up just as soon as I can . . .
      • Hey Im paying for yahoo's mail service.
        • But is that just for a bigger Inbox? I'm guessing that you're still getting the basic service for free.
          • Actually Im paying for them to host a mail domain ... its actually a pretty good deal, you point your dns record at them, and they run a smtp server that delivers mail to your *yahoo mail* account. It costs them nothing, I pay them something, its a good deal for both of us :) Or was ... I think because I already had my domain registered it was only 20$ a year for 5 accounts.

            I tell ya what I would pay a for, the ability to remove the stupid yahoo advertisements from the bottom of my emails (you can pay another 20$ a year to do this via pop3 but it dosen't effect your webmail).

  • by Numeric ( 22250 ) []

    oh god, everything is marked "yes"!!!!!!!

    • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:20PM (#3249434) Homepage Journal
      This one []'s even better. Assuming you're logged in, it'll set all your checkboxes to "No" for you.

      • Cruel Irony. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cybermage ( 112274 )
        The link in the parent post could easily be a tool to undo this thing:

        If everyone picked two other Yahoo users and emailed this link to them along with an explanation of why they should click it and asking them to pass it on to two other Yahoo accounts. Nearly everyone could have this turned off in a matter of days.

        The irony of this is that it would be using their intended medium for marketing to anti-market.
        • Re:Cruel Irony. (Score:3, Informative)

          by sulli ( 195030 )
          Even crueler (and highly illegal) would be for someone to take a spam tool like Elcomsoft's mass-mailer and use it to send html mail with a META redirect tag to this url to every possible yahoo user with an eight letter or shorter name. DO NOT do that!!
  • Just maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:09PM (#3249360) Homepage
    Maybe, just maybe, we should start expecting this. After all, ebay did something pretty close to this [] a while ago.

    But they claimed it was a bug in the system, so we can't fault them, right?
  • by TrumpCard ( 227739 ) <> on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:10PM (#3249364) Homepage
    Due to technical service inconveniences, Yahoo!(tm) now owns your soul, per accidental user agreement modifications. We apologize for any inconveniences or misunderstandings this may cause.
  • And I used to enjoy hanging out on Yahoo, too. Oh well, time to go hang out on eBay...
  • Past Yahoo! Behavior (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cossie ( 561861 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:11PM (#3249372)
    Anyone else remember the fiasco when Yahoo! bought Geocities and changed the user agreement to basically grant themselves the copyright to everyone's websites? Care to place wagers on what their excuse will be THIS time?
  • The right to spam? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 68030 ( 215387 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:12PM (#3249386) Homepage
    If yahoo is offering all of it's features as a
    free and publically accessable system, don't they
    have the right to do whatever they want with
    the default settings? Granted they due operate
    on the sole basis of being used, but I wouldn't
    get up in arms if something that I used for
    free just up and changed one day in some way
    that I didn't agree with. If it really has
    such a huge negative reaction from enough people
    then yahoo make other changes. However somehow
    i doubt that the hundreds of thousands of yahoo
    users are all in that slashdot mindset.

    there are alot of droids out there.

    • by A55M0NKEY ( 554964 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:31PM (#3249505) Homepage Journal
      They are free to delete my account, change services, or do whatever they want to with the account which I admit is theirs because it is on their servers ( though if I am paying they should play by different rules ) But if I entrust them with my email address that is hosted on my ISP's mail servers which I pay for, and specifically opt out of their marketing lists, and they breach the terms under which I entrusted my email address to them by sending me spam, then they ought to be sued.
    • by inkswamp ( 233692 )
      If yahoo is offering all of it's features as a
      free and publically accessable system, don't they have the right to do whatever they want with the default settings?

      Sure they do, but why does that preclude just being decent about this kind of thing instead of just doing what they want and inconveniencing people? Why couldn't they have emailed all users and warned them and given them a link to turn off all the spam? Someone at Yahoo has committed the same breach of public trust that is guilty of which is precisely why I won't do business with ever--because they have given me no reason to trust them. Likewise, I wouldn't buy anything from Yahoo (should they ever try any sales ventures) as I don't trust them either. Bear in mind, this isn't the first time they've futzed around with their users in this manner.

      So, yes, nobody is denying them their right to do as they please with their free services, but at the same time, they should recognize that the trust of the public and their own users (paying or otherwise) is a valuable resource and a good thing to have. These kinds of moves, done without notice, erode that kind of trust and sully the name-recognition/branding that they clearly take for granted. Most online companies would kill for the kind of branding that Yahoo has managed.

    • I pay $15 a month for Yahoo to host my Web site (it's Yahoo, for crying out loud. They're not evil, right?), which means that they have my phone number, home address, and credit card number on file.

      When I logged in a minute ago to reset the marketing preferences, I found that not only had they signed me up for email spam, but they displayed my home address and phone number and had me signed up for snail mail spam and telemarketing.

      So no, they're not collecting due compensation for free services, they're taking advantage of the my status as a paying customer. I'm going to find a new ISP, and I'm going to switch all my small business Web site clients as well, because they deserve better. To hell with Yahoo.

  • by CaptCosmic ( 323617 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:13PM (#3249388) Homepage
    I found that my POP access was disabled after resetting the marketing preferences.

    To reenable it, you need to go back and turn the Yahoo Delivers! option back on. POP Access/Forwarding require you to agree to this. Once that is done, you should be able to go back into your mail settings and check your settings.

    Once I did this, it gave the options for POP/Forwarding access.
  • by Kamel Jockey ( 409856 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:14PM (#3249398) Homepage

    These marketing data, as set by the user, could have been a very valuable commodity to sell to other companies. Those companies would have a very good idea of what to market to these users as a result. This makes this kind of information quite valuable. However, in resetting all of the user's preferences to be interested in everything, and given that most users will probably not give a rat's ass and change it, then these data become worthless to 3rd parties because it does not provide them with any new information. So effectively, Yahoo killed off an asset that could have been worth the money to rent and/or sell to others.

    • I certainly wouldn't do anything with data out of Yahoo. I certainly didn't give them real information when I signed up, nor has any one of my friends I've talked to. Anyone basing anything off of stats from a free webmail provider has got to be insane.
    • I suppose that advertisers would find it interesting that I'm a female born in 1901. I wonder what city I gave them? probably new york.

      On hind site though, I wish I had given them my cell phone number. $500 for every incident of unsolicited calls would be really nice to get, considering todays ecconomy.

  • by e4 ( 102617 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:14PM (#3249399)

    ...Yahoo announced that it will change its marketing slogan from "Do you, uh, Yahoo?" to "You WILL Yahoo."
  • Disgusting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:15PM (#3249404)
    I'm absolutely disgusted with Yahoo's behavior here...

    It's one thing to activate "Yes" on all those email spam options, but I provided Yahoo with my address and phone number when I made a credit card purchase through Yahoo Travel. I'm pretty sure I was told that these would be kept confidential and were mainly for the purpose of credit card verification. At any rate, I trusted them with these details.

    But it turns out they put "Yes" on my phone number and physical mailing address, as well.

    I'm really disgusted with Yahoo on this. They've gone too far.
    • Well, that was the problem, really. As a general rule of thumb, DON'T give out your address or credit card info on the web. Or if you do, certainly don't tie it in to some user account somewhere, so they can pull something like this. If somewhere makes you create a profile just to buy something, refuse. There's a pretty good chance you don't actually need whatever it was you were buying, or in the case of travel you can always get tickets elsewhere.
  • I prefs for marketing have stayed the same. In addition to having a spam/product registration e-mail account at yahoo, I also belong to some clubs and groups. When I looked at my prefs, they had not changed.

    I have noticed that the mail-forwarding has ended. All of my pr0n stays on yahoo.
  • by Sims Youth ( 568114 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:15PM (#3249407)
    ...but what's the big deal in reality? Who fills in real information when they sign up, anyway?

    All I know is that whoever lives at 123 Fake St. in my town is going to be very offended at the manner in which mail is addressed to them.

  • Can we build a new internet and start over? This one is starting to smell funny...

    I've been trying to get my parents online for a couple of years now. Not an easy task when I live thousands of miles away and can't provide much in the way of instruction. So far its been a nightmare. Machines pre-installed with the full trojan-horse marketing one expects from a windows machine. Their doors to the web, AOL, MSN... all of it making their experience feel like getting 500 new cable channels that are all just different versions of the Home Shopping Channel. Email with a GUI that looks like Mickey Mouse has hacked your pop mail account. Lots of shiny clunky flashy advertising for people that really don't buy shit anyway...

    The desperation with which corporations and their advertising machines come after us makes me very uneasy about the stability and future of our economy. The pyramid scheme can't hold... I can't afford/don't need any more crap.
  • This is why communties like this are important. I would have had no clue this was happening. Thanks. I was able to make the changes. I also changed all my contact information in my yahoo account to let them know how I felt about them!

  • good for this AC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by macsox ( 236590 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:21PM (#3249440) Journal
    i always wonder if, when an article is submitted by an AC, the person works for the company that is behaving badly. if so, kudos to them for doing what's right.
  • I went to this url:

    And sure enough everything was set to "yes".

    But what I want to know is, why on earth would you give Yahoo! your real address and telephone number?? My account is all lies.

    Then again, I only use Yahoo to track my portfolio.. I hardly use any of the services.

    • Re:well whaddya know (Score:4, Informative)

      by gbell ( 84505 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:27PM (#3249482)
      If you buy something from a vendor that uses Yahoo (its not always obvious), Yahoo goes ahead and saves your addresses and phones "so you don't have to type it in again." Gee, thanks. The time saved can be spent recycling all the paper junk mail I'll be getting.

      I found both my home and work addresses AND phone numbers! I quickly deleted them, but as security conscious as I am, I had no idea Yahoo was saving that stuff away for future marketing "opportunities".

      Please everyone go check!
  • by legLess ( 127550 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:25PM (#3249465) Journal
    I went in and signed up for a new account (spambot12321), and I was never presented with a choice for these items. They asked if I'd like other things ("Send me special offers from selected Yahoo! partners through Yahoo! Delivers."), but the items listed in [] never showed up.

    So I don't know about other people who say they've already set these to "no," but at least for new accounts you're signed up for all of it whether you want to be or not. Bastards.
  • by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:27PM (#3249479)
    From []:
    New categories of marketing communications may be added to the Marketing Preferences page from time to time. Users who visit this page can opt out of receiving future marketing communications from these new categories or they can unsubscribe by following instructions contained in the messages they receive.
    This might imply that you must explicitly "opt out" of new marketing categories. If all of these options are relatively "new", then it's consistent with their privacy policy. It doesn't excuse the fact, however.
  • by babbage ( 61057 ) <(ude.lahtuosu.sic) (ta) (srevedc)> on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:28PM (#3249485) Homepage Journal
    Also, it looks like they stopped updating their Reuters news page [] as of "11:53 PM ET Mar 27". I've been using that URL for headlines for at least a year or two, and it seems like it usually gets updated several times a day, even hourly or more. Browsing their news site, there doesn't seem to be any other available low-bandwidth [slash no popup windows] version of the headlines page, or any other news page for that matter.

    If Yahoo is permanently forcing users to browse higher-bandwidth versions of these pages, then they just forced me to stop using their service. I'm not interested in syncing a big bloated monster of a page to my palm pilot, thankyouverymuch.

    Good thing Google just launched a headline browser page [].

  • by Fastball ( 91927 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:29PM (#3249495) Journal []

    Your account will remain in their database for 90 days, then poof gone, but the account is deactivated. For what that's worth. Peace of mind?

  • In related news, we've signed you all up for a /. newsletter! (I am so just kidding.)

    We SO just have to wait and see...
  • For some more info (Score:5, Informative)

    by edhall ( 10025 ) <> on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:32PM (#3249514) Homepage

    CNET had an article [] on this yesterday. In brief, Yahoo! split their Marketing Preferences into a bunch of categories, and defaulted the new categories to opted-in. They are mailing out notices (a process that will take a few weeks) telling people about the new preferences. They then have 60 days to opt-out.

    • by gilroy ( 155262 )
      Blockquoth the poster:

      In brief, Yahoo! split their
      Marketing Preferences into a bunch of categories, and
      defaulted the new categories to opted-in.

      All well and good. But the default should be to opt out. If you really want the email you'd set it up. But as a default the system should be as un-intrusive as possible.

      OK, I know. I'm living in a fantasy world. But that's how it should be. Since they chose to do it their way, I don't see how they have any defense to charges that they are abusing user trust and misusing user data.

  • Other Delivery Indicate other ways you want to receive the special offers and marketing communications you have selected.

    via U.S. mail [X] Yes No
    via phone [X] Yes No
  • Well, if they want to spam snail mail addresses and phones, give them some addresses to spam to!

    Enter these in your home/work preferences, and only turn off the email spams:

    Yahoo! Canada []
    106 Front Street East
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5A 1E1

    Phone: 416.341.8605
    Fax: 416.341.8800


    Yahoo! Inc. []
    701 First Avenue
    Sunnyvale, California 94089
    Tel. (408) 349-3300
    Fax. (408) 349-3301
    Tel. 408-349-2000 []

    I'm sure yahoo would LOVE to hear from their advertisers any day!
  • Yahoo gets more and more obnoxious. I dropped "Yahoo Store" years ago, when they started wanting a cut of my sales in addition to a monthly fee.
  • by MImeKillEr ( 445828 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:37PM (#3249544) Homepage Journal
    I simply went in and added their mailing address and phone number as my primary contact. Now, their marketing department will be sending their own contact info to their partners.. Maybe if we all did this, they'll get flooded with all their own goddamned SPAM!
    • by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @05:41PM (#3249853) Homepage
      I usually type in root@ as the email address... let 'em clog up their own mail server.

      • by Shiny Metal S. ( 544229 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @10:18PM (#3251281) Homepage
        I usually type in root@ as the email address... let 'em clog up their own mail server.

        root@ is not a valid address. Sending email to such address usually gives some error like unrouteable mail domain "" because there's no MX record in DNS for (but I'm not sure if it would work even if there was such record, I'm too lazy to test it). Use root@[] if you want email to literal ip address bypassing the standard MX resolving (see RFC 822 []). But the mail server can be configured to reject them, and e.g. my server will give you this error: root@[] domain literals not allowed.

        So the root@localhost is probably the the best choice (but it still sometimes may not work as you expect, if the "localhost" is not set as local domain of SMTP server). But remember that even when you make them spam local root mailbox, it's usually their own account, not the one of their ISP.

        When I have to ever register with working email I make alias like so I always know who sends spam and I can always deactivate such alias. But I have yet to see anyone selling my spam-from-their.domain@my.domain address to anyone.

        If you can't easily edit /etc/aliases on your mail server (and if you're not your own postmaster, it's usually true) check out spamgourmet self-destructing disposable email addresses []:

        After you save and confirm the email address where you'd like to receive messages, you can give out self-destructing disposable email addresses whenever you want as follows:
        where someword is a word you haven't used before, x is the number of email messages you want to receive at the address (up to 20), and user is your username. For example, if your username is 'spamcowboy', and you give this address to somebody (or, more probably, some thing):
        the address will be created here the first time it is used, and you'll receive at most two messages (forwarded to the email address you specify above) on the address. The rest will be indelicately consumed. That's it. You won't ever have to come back here.

        I don't use it because I have my own mail server and I can do whatever I want (or whatever I can) with my mail address, but spamgourmet [] seems to be great if you just have one mailbox somewhere like most of the people.

    • by benwb ( 96829 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @08:12PM (#3250572)
      There are entire blocks of email addresses that were created for this. Basically any example domain (,, etc...) is defined as being nonexistent to be used in tcp/ip documentation as examples. goes nowhere, doesn't consume anyone's bandwidth, and pretty much no one filters for it.
    • If you give them inaccurate information to the registration questions, you risk having your account deactivated. From the Yahoo Terms of Service []:

      In consideration of your use of the Service, you agree to: (a) provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the Service's registration form (such information being the "Registration Data") and (b) maintain and promptly update the Registration Data to keep it true, accurate, current and complete. If you provide any information that is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, or Yahoo has reasonable grounds to suspect that such information is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, Yahoo has the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Service (or any portion thereof).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So, I just went pay the $19.99 to continue to use the POP services at Yahoo. It is worth it to me for that amount. I find out though that I *must* create a Yahoo Wallet to do so. To use the Wallet service I must give Yahoo my credit card info FOR THEM TO STORE. This is "for your convenience". Then I look at the Wallet TOS and see this: "Yahoo! will not be responsible for any purchases or errors made under your account or Yahoo! Wallet". So you're going to force me to let you store my number but will not take any responsibility for it. Forget that! Its one thing to make purchases online, another to let somebody store my cc #. I've used Yahoo mail and the POP service for a long time since it allows me to keep one email address regardless of ISP. It looks like that is coming to an end!
  • The reason your POP3 stopped now is likely because you unsubscribed from the "yahoo delivers!" option when you went to the account information. Yahoo delivers has always been a prerequisite to using pop3 or forwarding. Once you sign back on to it, you'll be able to start the pop3 again.

    The yahoo delivers thing is not that annoying, as I have only gotten mail from it like once a month, and a lot of it has been genuinely interesting. The other stuff mentioned in this story you should definitely unsubscribe from though.

  • Just set your address and phone number to their address and phone number and let them receive all your bulk mailings and telemarketing calls.
  • by shellac ( 78892 )
    Yahoo has been providing forwarding for addresses ever since they bought them out. Does anyone know if they are planning to charge for this also?
  • "Yahoo! is notifying users of these changes to marketing preferences via email. Your new marketing preferences will not take effect until 60 days after the date the email is sent to you so you have plenty of time to decide what you want to receive and what you don't. To change your preferences, go to the Marketing Preferences page."

    Of course who reads e-mail that comes from a yahoo account. They probably sent it and it got caught in a filter.

    Something else interesting is that since I've just gone to Yahoo's site, now when I hit F3 to repeat my last search in IE, the Yahoo homepage pops up in a little sidebar window. Coincidence?
  • Suppose all of us Yahoo users were to draft a hardcopy letter that goes something like this...

    Dear Yahoo,
    By copy if this letter, I am opting out of all marketing lists; my contact information is not to be used by Yahoo for marketing purposes, nor is it to be sold, shared, leased, lent, or revealed to any third parties. This letter supersedes any website settings and is in response to all past, present, and future requests for marketing permission. Any future requests for permission will be ignored, since this letter will serve as your notification until revoked by me in writing.

    Should you make use of my contact information anyway, I will invoice you $5000 per message as a "reading fee". Abuse of my contact information constitues your agreement to pay the "reading fee", in addition to collection costs, court fees, and reasonable attorney's fees. I understand that $5000 per message is quite expensive -- do not use the service unless you intend to pay the fee.

    I would love to see a service that offered to auto-send this kind of letter to all the "opt-in-by-default" morons. Even better if it could help facilitate the collection process.
  • Yahoo contact info (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In case anyone can't find it..

    701 First Avenue
    Sunnyvale, CA 94089
  • What THEY say (Score:4, Informative)

    by doru ( 541245 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:57PM (#3249651) Homepage
    The Yahoo Privacy Center Help [] page specifies that :

    [...] we have reset marketing preferences for some of our users. If you are one of those users, unless you decide to change these preferences, you may begin receiving marketing messages from Yahoo! about ways to enhance your Yahoo! experience, including special offers and new features.

    Yahoo! is notifying users of these changes to marketing preferences via email. Your new marketing preferences will not take effect until 60 days after the date the email is sent to you so you have plenty of time to decide what you want to receive and what you don't. To change your preferences, go to the Marketing Preferences [] page.

    Well, it doesn't look that outrageous. Still, there's no hint as to why they did it.

  • "By using Yahoo and viewing advertisements, you agree to have a behavior-modifying microchip implanted in you hippocampus, and will allow the corporate logos of our advertisers encoded in your junk DNA."
  • by kindbud ( 90044 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @05:47PM (#3249879) Homepage
    I didn't uncheck any boxes. I want all those Yahoo offers to be sent to me in the postal mail. They are just too good to pass up! And I want all my Yahoo offers to be sent and stored on my Yahoo account. Soem of them are valid for YEARS after they are sent. You never know when you'll need one, so I'll keep them all on my free-of-charge Yahoo mailbox, forever.

    But I just noticed that my street address and phone number are way out of date in my Yahoo account. I just updated it. Here's my new street address, to which all my paper mail will be sent:

    Mr. Stop Spamming Me
    701 First Avenue
    Sunnyvale, CA 94089
    Of course, no one but me should be using that street address. I wouldn't want to get flooded with a bunch of paper spam at "my" street address, so don't any of you go changing your street address to send me any of your offers. No sir, that would not be very nice. Don't do that.
  • by Some guy named Chris ( 9720 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @06:54PM (#3250224) Journal

    If you're like many, and haven't enabled pop3 access until now, you are probably discovering that they aren't making it obvious how to enable pop3 forwarding for you. Makes it kind of hard to get your email off their system before it becomes fee based, doesn't it?

    What they aren't telling you is that until April 24th, the flag they are using to control whether you have pop3 access is still changable by you!

    Here's what you do:

    1. Log into your Yahoo! account and go here []. This should be the Marketing Preferences page.
    2. Enable the last option ONLY, the one that says "Special offers from selected Yahoo! partners brought to you by Yahoo! Delivers."
    3. Optionally, instead of items 1 and 2, you can just click this link [].
    4. Now, you can log into the pop server with your yahoo ID and password and get all your mail off!
    5. Enjoy a pat on the back for beating the system

    Hope that helps some of you.

  • Get used to it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @09:00PM (#3250798)
    I fear that those of us who are strongly anti-spam are becoming the minority and that those who have already accepted it as "just a fact of [online] life" are a rapidly growing majority.

    Yesterday I wrote an article on how Google, for all its good Netizenship, has sold out to the spaming industry.

    If you enter the search query "bulk email" you'll see that Google is quite happy to play its role in the promotion of spamware and spamming services -- by way of the list of paid-advertisements down the right-hand side of the page promoting such products and services.

    Surprisingly, I had a raft of feedback from readers who seem to think that there's nothing wrong with Google carrying paid advertising for the promotion of spamware and spamming services.

    I know that over the past seven years I've started and run (and sold) a number of very successful ad-funded online publications and I've never felt that I had to stoop so low as to accept advertising dollars from spammers.

    Perhaps I'm just one of a dying breed of entrepreneurs who are prepared to put his money where his mouth is in the battle against spam.

    I see this latest move by Yahoo to simply be part of a slow but inevitable move towards the day when we're all forced to swallow our daily diet of spam along with the few little morsels that are actually real email.

  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Saturday March 30, 2002 @05:16AM (#3252757) Journal
    ... is to lie. Apparently I'm a female construction worker, and only 3 years old too -
    precocious, huh :-)

    The important thing is the age - if you're less than 13 they don't bombard you with any crap at all...


"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault