Author: Mickey Chandler

What is a spamtrap?

One of the issues that I get to deal with in policy enforcement is handling complaints about customers sending messages to “spamtraps.” This invariably leads to a discussion about what, exactly, is a spamtrap? There are a lot of different answers out there. For instance, a 2019 blog post at Validity asserts that it is… Read More

Mental Health on Teams

Did you know that “burnout” is coming to the ICD-11 (due to be released in June 2022)? It’s true. Burnout will be recognized as an occupational syndrome resulting from work-related stress. Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings… Read More

Enforcement is therapeutic

Policies exist for a reason. For instance, most email service providers have a policy forbidding the use of non-opt-in lists. Those policies exist because of statements like this one: Microsoft prohibits the use of the service in any manner associated with the transmission, distribution, or delivery of any unsolicited bulk or unsolicited commercial e-mail (“spam”). You… Read More

Laws Still Apply to Bad Ideas

On Monday, I posted that “Forcing Consent Is A Bad Idea”. The point was to tell say that, regardless of legal issues, there are very practical reasons in favor of setting a policy of not trying to force consent. But, just because there are practical reasons for not forcing consent does not mean that there… Read More

Forcing Consent Is A Bad Idea

We previously asked the question “who is your program for?” The idea behind that post was to briefly examine the idea that we make decisions for our programs that are based upon whom we have in mind to benefit. One example that I mentioned to show an incorrect focus was “We’ll require someone to register… Read More

Oklahoma does … something?

On January 13, Rep. Collin Walke (D-Oklahoma City) filed the Oklahoma E-Mail Communication Content Privacy Protection Act. This bill is intended to “make it illegal for companies, like Google or Microsoft, that host email servers to glean information from users” (Facebook post, 14 January 2020). The bill itself is pretty short. There is a general… Read More

Who is your program for?

When designing something, one of the things which have to be done first is to consider what the purpose of the thing is. Many design decisions are based upon a consideration of whom the program is intended to benefit. Some decisions will seem to benefit both parties. “If people will give us their email addresses,… Read More

Ignaz Semmelweis

Tone Matters

There is more to the story of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis than merely the fact that people will discount the possibility that they are, in fact, responsible for things that happen. Another part of the story which is important to us is found in how Dr. Semmelweis responded to criticism. To put things mildly and diplomatically,… Read More

US Supreme Court to consider TCPA case

https://www.supremecourt.gov/docket/docketfiles/html/public/19-631.html is the docket page for Barr, et al., v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc., et al. This is a TCPA case involving automated calls with both the Petitioner and the Respondent in agreement as to what they feel the outcome should be. The favored result would probably gut the TCPA’s prohibition against the… Read More

Ignaz Semmelweis

Sometimes, it’s you

Today’s post comes to us from the story of a 19th-century doctor: Ignaz Semmelweis. Dr. Semmelweis was an obstetrician in Vienna who obtained his degree in 1844 and was appointed assistant at the obstetric clinic in Vienna’s General Hospital. There were two wards at the clinic. One was staffed by doctors and trainees. The other… Read More

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