Some may say I’d made a mistake when registering a new domain name for a client; entering my details (email address, contact number etc.) but not paying the extra for domain privacy. As it turned out, I don’t consider it to have been a mistake but something that transpired to be quite interesting. In the following week I received 53 unsolicited emails offering web design and development services, logo design and SEO services: I also received 5 cold calls. Of the 53 emails, all but 5 originated from India (4 originating from the US and 1 from Taiwan. I didn’t bother tracing the cold calls. What surprised me is that the majority of the emails came from Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! accounts and only 6 could be linked to any website, all of which were particularly awful Wordpress concoctions. Not the best way to impress a ‘sales prospect’. It would also appear that not one of these eager salespeople had bothered to find out what we do!
Of more interest, was thinking about this in the light of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) which come into force next May. I receive very few unsolicited emails; very few indeed from UK organisations. I do however get many emails generously offering web development or SEO services, Russian Brides, mailing lists (GDPR!) or a share in their Nigerian uncle’s fortune (still after all these years!). These emails, almost without exception, originate from overseas (including the perfectly legitimate US Corporation that seems convinced that I’d be interested in buying an SMT assembly line). I don’t believe that the ICO’s jurisdiction is sufficiently wide to take action against these correspondents. I also don’t think that the GDPR will protect consumers from the incessant ‘technical support’ calls from scammers purporting to be from TalkTalk, Microsoft, BT etc. as these also seem to mainly emanate from the Indian sub-continent. Once an email address or telephone number has been harvested, no amount of UK legislation will prevent someone overseas from trying to exploit it.