Excessive junk mail after buying an iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by pcl818, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. pcl818 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
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    CA
    #1
    Not sure if this is the proper forum, but since it's related to an iPad purchase, I figured this is a good place to start.

    Last month, I bought an iPad 3 for my dad through the Apple website. I bought using his name and had it sent to him in LA. I purchased it with my credit card, which is under my name and my current address in SF.

    Starting last week, I started getting junkmail (e.g., credit card apps, general home improvement related mail that people typically receive when they move to a new address) send to me with his name, but under my address. I am continually receiving more and more junk mail with his name and my address.

    Note that this is the first and only time I've purchased something for my dad and had it sent directly to him. He is not a cosigner for my place, credit card, or anything else related financially. Alternatively, he has not purchased anything for me or has associated his name with my address. In other words, there is no other connection between my dad's name and my address besides the iPad I purchased through the Apple website.

    Does this sound suspicious? Is Apple selling personal information to third parties? Has this happened to anyone else?
     
  2. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    Credit card company sold you out bro. Hard to believe a bank would be so unscrupulous.
     
  3. pcl818 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2012
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    CA
    #3
    This is what I initially thought too but it doesn't make sense. First, this is my only credit card and I have purchased other similarly priced items before. I never received any junk mail that people tend to get when they change their address, such as home improvement and home restoration related junk mail. I am assuming that this type of unprecedented junk mail is related to a "new" person associated with my address.

    Additionally, for example, I purchased a plane ticket for someone else, in that person's name, with my credit card. I never received any junk mail with said person's name and my address. I also purchased a magazine subscription, using the same credit card, as a present for someone else. I did not receive junk mail.

    Furthermore, when I purchased the iPad through the Apple website, I put in my name and address to simply "verify" the card information. The shipping information was for Apple. Thus, the credit card company (I think) doesn't have access to my dad's name or address. They should only be privy to the fact that I purchased something from Apple, right?
     
  4. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    correct, and that's why I think it was the bank. if every iPad buyer got a flurry of junk mail, regardless of their payment method, that would indicate Apple is to blame. 3 million people getting a ton of junk mail after they bought ipads would not go over too well, and it would make the news.

    credit card junk mail OTOH is basically the norm. don't forget, it's not the actual bank that sends you junk mail. they partner with dedicated junk mail companies. they know you won't stand for 500 pieces of junk mail a week, so they are somewhat selective. junk mailers with the deepest pockets are the ones who are after people who buy the most popular stuff, like iPads. once you buy a targeted market item, the floodgates open.
     
  5. ZipZap macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #5
    Maybe you have some spyware on your computer.
     
  6. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #6
    Not here. As always, coincidental != causal. If you're wondering how your data is harvested then use a method I ran across: always slightly modify your address when you provide it to different vendors. Modify it in such a way that mail delivery isn't affected but you have a "tag" telling you whose data was used to send you the junk mail.
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    No, Apple, being the largest company in the world, doesn't need to sell your info to make extra money.

    By your rational:
    - It's summer, you got ice cream.
    - Murder rate is up in the summer.
    Ice cream = murder!!!
     
  8. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    No. I used to donate to the ASPCA regularly. Now, I get spam mail from dozens of other animal shelters damn near everyday. Even PETA sent me one.
     
  9. pcl818 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Location:
    CA
    #9
    This is a possibility. I'll look into this further.

    I guess in a way I used this method unintentionally and narrowed it down to the iPad purchase since this was the first time I purchased something for my dad, under his name, but paid through my credit card.

    I disagree with this implication. First, I did not immediately ACCUSE Apple for selling my information. I said this sounds suspicious and was wondering if it was possible.
     
  10. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030

    spiderman0616

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #10
    One day on Facebook, I clicked on a coupon offer that one of my friends had posted. You had to take a survey first and then you got a $50 coupon for some restaurant. I didn't even take the survey or give them any info--I simply clicked on her status update to see what it was all about.

    The next day I had at least 50 messages in my Gmail spam folder, which is a crazy amount compared to what I used to get (maybe 50 in a month)--again, didn't even follow the link to the survey.

    Anything you did could have handed this info out. I have been using iCloud mail for about 5 months now and have gotten 1 spam. I have had an iTunes account for years. I have not gotten anything that has made me think Apple is selling my info.
     
  11. rkahl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #11
    Have you bought or sold anything from Craigslist.org lately? This stuff happens all the time from them!
     
  12. wpotere, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012

    wpotere Guest

    Joined:
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    #12

    I can't help but laugh at this... If you don't think that your information is usable and up for sale you are highly mistaken, even if the company is the "largest" according to you.

    According to several other sources, they are not the "largest" at all and don't even show up on the list. However, they are considered the most valuable. Most likely it is the bank, but it is possible that Apple gave your information to a third party that sold it out. They do share your information with third party vendors and although they claim it isn't for marketing there is nothing stopping them from doing it.
     
  13. rutledjw macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2011
    #13
    And THAT, ladies and gentlemen is why I AVOID ICE CREAM!

    Seriously, I'd BLAST your CC company / bank. I've never had this from Apple, but if you check your CC companies privacy policy - it'll be eye opening. Your purchase triggered a "change address" event in a search. When these jerks "Share" your information with their "business partners" (i.e. anyone and everyone) - they search on certain criteria.

    In your case, a new name / address combo popped up, thusly causing the infux of junk. Modify your privacy settings. It's too late for this round, but you know for later. But yeah, this is your bank...

    ----------

    I'd say this is semi-valid. The data is valuable, but what is done with it varies by company. Apple is not known to sell customer data to any Tom-Dick-Harry. This is a credit card / bank issue.

    From being an Apple customer for 5+ years, I cannot recall a single e-mail, snail mail from an Apple "business partner. Can you?
     
  14. wpotere Guest

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #14

    Riddle me this Batman... How did the credit card company get the father's name?

    The only company that had both bits of information (the father's name and the credit card mailing address) is Apple.

    Sorry, but I may be leaning more towards Apple sharing the information with a third party and them selling it out.
     
  15. rutledjw macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2011
    #15
    Data aggragation companies do this. There are several smaller ones and a couple larger more dominant ones that create customer profiles based off of several disparate sources based on purchasing history. A core part of this is your CC#

    So the source of at least PART of this info was the bank. Typically as a part of those agreements they have some reciprocity for data from other sources or aggregators - so if a shipper has the same TX# and or CC# with the OP, they link common names, addresses, etc. In this case, you have two similar names, a link via TX / CC, and the OPs address. These systems are not perfect and false matchings occur. But given that the OP is getting junk mail for his Dad that assumes a new address, they seemingly linked his Dad's name from the shipper to his CC billing address, found a "new" or "changed" entry and sold the data to junk mailers.

    Also, when shipping to an address this is NOT the billing address, more comprehensive data is collected by the bank. I've been out of the loop on this for a bit, the justification is fraud prevention, but once they have the data...

    Hey, it's your opinion. I've just had the (dubious) benefit of seeing this from the other side of the fence.
     
  16. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    Anchorage, AK
    #16
    Apple does not share information with third parties. In fact, that's the reason they teamed up with Twitter in iOS 5 instead of Facebook - Facebook's terms were that Apple shared its customer information with them, and Apple refused.

    The CC company would have a lot more information for an online transaction that it has for offline transactions. If you make a purchase in person, the most you might have to provide is the billing zip code (and I've only seen that at a gas pump). But you have to provide the full billing address (and shipping address for physical goods) when purchasing online.
     
  17. wpotere Guest

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    #17

    Yeah, the only way the bank can get that shipping information is if the company gives it to them. FYI, that would be Apple. ;)

    I also saw an increase in marketing information sent to me after I bought an iPad2 using my Credit Union bank card. I'm pretty sure my credit union wasn't the culprit. I'm not bothered by it, but I am pretty sure that Apple does share our information.
     
  18. rutledjw macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2011
    #18
    Well yeah, that info is REQUIRED by the bank to complete a transaction where shipping address != billing address. So to sell and ship the item, Apple had to give it to the bank. That was my point. But even without that specific info, aggragators can figure it out pretty easily (again, as I stated above).

    Disagree again, when you made the purchase of an iPad2, you made a higher $ purchase to Apple Inc (and from the $ amount, it's not hard to make a high-probability guess regarding what you puchased). This classified your profile as a "higher value" customer, and your info was more valuable to sell.

    Hey, believe what you want. These systems have been in place with financial institutions for a long time. Further, Apple has little to gain and lot to lose in the way of PR if it got out they were selling info with no reagrd to the customer
     
  19. b.c. macrumors 6502

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #19
    FWIW I've been an Apple customer for many years and bought things from the Apple online store of far greater value than an iPad (although I've bought that too on apple.com). Over the years, I've purchased things from Apple using credit cards issued by three different banks (personal & business cards). I've purchased items for personal use and had them shipped both to my home and to my workplace.

    in all these years, I have never received a single piece of 3rd party junk mail as a result of a purchase on apple.com. I get the occasional email from Apple announcing some new product, but that's it.

    mind you, I live in Canada and we have different privacy and consumer laws here than the U.S. so that may also be a factor.

    Apple's privacy policy says your personal information "...will not be shared with third parties for their marketing purposes." I'm guessing the credit card company or bank was the culprit in the OP's case.
     
  20. TheWheelMan macrumors 6502a

    TheWheelMan

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    Mar 15, 2011
    #20
    So, did you use your name or your father's when you filled out the payment info? If you used your father's name there as well, then I think the credit card company is the culprit.
     
  21. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 9, 2012
    #21
    The issue could be this... Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod products do not filter spam dierctly. If your email account does not auto-filter for spam server side, then you will get all the spam on your phone. It happens to me also. My home iMac filters the junk but on my phone/ipad I get spam every 20 min.

    My solution to the problem would be a simple filter inside of iOS mail app. A simple filter to reject emails based on words in title would do wonders for me since my email server marks junk mails with "bulk". For simple and timesaving solutions such as this one, you should tell Apple to hire me. :confused:
     
  22. pcl818 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Location:
    CA
    #22
    OK, to clarify, I purchased an iPad through the Apple website. I shipped it to my dad at his address under the "shipping section." For the payment, I used my name and credit card under the "billing section." Many online retailers (e.g., Amazon) also have separate shipping and billing sections to fill out.

    I am getting junk mail, not spam, that had my dad's name and my address. I am not concerned about the amount of junk mail, but how some third party got both my information and my dad's information. At this time, I am suspicious that Apple may be responsible.

    This was the first and only time my information and my dad's information was used together in any financial transaction.

    The reason that I ruled out my credit card company is because I've purchased items online for other people before, but I never received junk mail in their name under my address.

    This seems like a valid explanation, but as mentioned above, I've purchased online items before, with differing shipping and billing addresses, and this has never occurred. And yes, I know that if even it has never happened before doesn't mean it can't happen, but I purchase a substantial amount of items online and this is a first for me.

    I guess what this boils down to is that I am extremely uncomfortable that this occurred through the Apple website. I still think Apple makes great products, and I will probably continue to purchase their products, but it is unnerving that they may be selling personal information, without prior disclosure, to third parties.
     
  23. wpotere Guest

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #23
    It isn't a valid explanation. I just contacted my bank to ask as it is a credit union and not some big bank. They stated that all they care about is the billing address and card number and name matching with the card info. They do have a fraud team that monitors for odd purchases but that is it. If the shipping address is different they don't get it nor do they care. If my information was farmed out, it was not on their end and frankly I believe them. They are not a large entity...

    Sorry, I still think that Apple shares it and it may be leaked from there, but they get it from the place that it is entered. Apple is a company and your information is worth a great deal. They also say on their site that they do share with their vendors but don't "sell" it. This doesn't mean that the other vendors won't pass your information out.
     
  24. pcl818 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Location:
    CA
    #24
    I did not know they say on their site that they share personal information with other vendors. I am irked that they do this and leaves a "bad taste in your mouth" feeling. I guess I won't be purchasing anything from their website anymore.
     
  25. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #25
    Both the shipping and billing info are sent to the credit card company during verification.

    Card issuers apply differing levels of validation.

    Whose your CC issuer?

    Some are more unscrupulous than others. Call your credit card company and ask. Also log into your account and check the permissions your given them on data sharing.

    ----------

    You called your bank or the issuer of their credit card???

    Shipping info is sent, it may not be used...but its provided. Someone in the credit union is hardly qualified to comment on credit card processing (unless your bank issues the card and processes charges).
     

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