Why I Am Not Inclined to Sign Any More 38 Degrees Petitions

Shocked to discover that Lewes District Council plans to sell the only seafront public car park in West Seaford to housing developers, removing toilet facilities & a recycling point in the process, I recently signed a 38 Degrees petition to save the Buckle car park in Seaford.

Since then, I’ve discovered that 38 Degrees, which admittedly supports many worthwhile campaigns, has a dubious policy regarding use of the email addresses provided by those who sign the petitions.  They use that email address to send you unsolicited emails advertising other campaigns.  There is not even a box to check, in order to opt out of these mails at the point you sign the petition.

Only a day or two after signing, I already had some junk mail from 38 Degrees inviting me to support a campaign against TTIP.  Whatever my view on TTIP may be, I had not registered for that campaign, nor had I given any consent for them to contact me in that regard.

Fortunately I keep a number of “throwaway” email addresses.  When I need to provide contact details to an organisation that is new to me, I use one of these temporary addresses, only swapping it for a permanent one if they demonstrate responsible use of my personal data.  So, this email address was deleted straight away before they could abuse it any further.

To be fair to 38 Degrees, they do clearly draw attention to this policy immediately under the form where you provide your data and they have a clearly worded, straightforward privacy policy.

However worthy 38 Degrees’s campaigns may be, I will not be rushing to sign any more of their petitions in future.