Privacy / Data Protection

Privacy and Advertising Mail

Author(s): Chris Jay Hoofnagle and Jennifer Urban
Year: 2012

Abstract:  In this paper, we consider why Americans may frame the generation and receipt of unsolicited advertising mail as a privacy violation. We then present data from our nationwide survey showing that a very large majority of Americans, across all ideologies, educational attainment levels, age, and income levels, support the creation of a do-not-mail mechanism similar to the popular Telemarketing Do Not Call Registry. We discuss our results in light of the fact that direct advertising mail now makes up more than half of all mailpieces sent by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Keywords: Privacy, advertising mail, direct marketing, direct mail, saturation mail, patron mail, standard mail, junk mail, privacy as limited access to the self, privacy-control, prohibitory order, self regulation