Every time you sign up for a service or website, do you take the time to read through the small print? Probably not. Hardly anyone does, simply because legal documents are boring, and most people aren’t lawyers with the requisite skillset to actually interpret them correctly.But this has been our undoing, as when we press ‘Accept’, we often unwittingly allow the website or service to share our details with their “carefully selected partners.” Who then share it with their “carefully selected partners.” And so on.
It was through this – and several other less-than-kosher methods – that the ostensibly legitimate marketing company, River City Media (RCM), was able to build a list of 1.4 billion email addresses, combined with people’s real names, IP addresses, and physical addresses.
RCM was also responsible for a staggering volume of spam sent. Per their own leaked documentation, they sent out a billion messages each day.