Whilst filling in the form to get a yearly subscription of New Scientist, I did something I don’t normally do: I read the small print. This is what it said:
Reed Business Information Limited will use the contact information you provide to communicate with you on behalf of New Scientist. We may also use this information to send you direct marketing material relating to other titles that may interest you. Your information may also be disclosed to other companies who wish to send you information about their products and services. This could involve transfer to countries outside the European Economic Area.
What the hell!? Most forms include a little tick box for you to opt out, but Reed Business Information Limited have decided that you *will* receive junk mail. Further down in the small print it says you can visit http://reedbusiness.co.uk/dataprotection/ for more information. Aha, I say, here will be their Data Protection policy. But no, it’s a big form where you can untick 12 boxes not to be contacted by Reed and 3rd parties. But you have to submit it online..before they have received your form? How will I know when to submit so that they have my details but have not yet passed them on? If they have already passed them on, will unticking a box stop this third party contacting me? Or just stop more third parties contacting me? In the end I printed it out, signed it and put it in the same envelope as the subscription form. I tried to find their Data Protection policy, but it’s not on their website as far as I can see. I was almost put off from subscribing entirely since they have gone out of their way to make sure you will get junk mail, however the 50% subscription discount and free book swayed me. Damn you, special offers!