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Old 11-20-2012, 03:03 AM   #1
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Kobo gives email addresses to affiliates

Kobo is giving your account email address to your local country affiliate.

I assume that this is if you purchase a book from the Kobo site, but got there through the affiliate. I never directly gave the affiliate my email address. Nor have I given direct permission for Collins Books to use the email address for marketing purposes.

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, although I do find it annoying.

I just got some marketing emails from Collins Books (Australian affiliate), using my Kobo account emails.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:12 AM   #2
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Not can I find any verbiage on either Kobo's or Collin's sites regarding them passing email addresses to the affiliates (or Retail Partners).
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by murg View Post
Kobo is giving your account email address to your local country affiliate.

I assume that this is if you purchase a book from the Kobo site, but got there through the affiliate. I never directly gave the affiliate my email address. Nor have I given direct permission for Collins Books to use the email address for marketing purposes.

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, although I do find it annoying.

I just got some marketing emails from Collins Books (Australian affiliate), using my Kobo account emails.
In Australia, if you got spam you didn't sign up for, they've broken the law - the Spam Act 2003, to be exact. The presence of unsubscribe instructions is not enough - they have to have prior consent in the first place. That consent can be inferred in certain circumstances such as a substantive existing business relationship; however, the ACMA guidance to businesses specifically states:

Quote:
CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN AN “EXISTING RELATIONSHIP” CANNOT
BE ASSUMED

Consent will not always be inferred where there is a pre-existing relationship between you and a person. For example, it would not be reasonable to infer that a person consented to receiving commercial electronic messages from you simply because of a transaction along the lines of any one-off purchase.
Considering your purchase wasn't even from Collins, I think that them inferring an existing business relationship in which you would have expected ongoing marketing messages would be extremely bloody dodgy.

In addition, ACMA says that not even pre-checked tick boxes are adequate consent. The recipient must have "actively and deliberately" consented to receiving marketing messages.

Potential penalties include fines of up to $1.1 million per day.

Information on how to file a report can be found here. You can simply forward the spam message, with its Subject line unchanged, to report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by meeera View Post
In Australia, if you got spam you didn't sign up for, they've broken the law - the Spam Act 2003, to be exact. The presence of unsubscribe instructions is not enough - they have to have prior consent in the first place. That consent can be inferred in certain circumstances such as a substantive existing business relationship; however, the ACMA guidance to businesses specifically states:



Considering your purchase wasn't even from Collins, I think that them inferring an existing business relationship in which you would have expected ongoing marketing messages would be extremely bloody dodgy.

In addition, ACMA says that not even pre-checked tick boxes are adequate consent. The recipient must have "actively and deliberately" consented to receiving marketing messages.

Potential penalties include fines of up to $1.1 million per day.

Information on how to file a report can be found here. You can simply forward the spam message, with its Subject line unchanged, to report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.
ACMA gets spam from me at least once a week...

I'm pretty sure they got my Kobo account email address from The Australian newspaper ebook giveaway. There was an unchecked checkbox on the Collins side of that offer (before they sent you to Kobo's site) where you agreed to their terms and conditions, I just can't find those T & Cs anywhere on Collin's site.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:20 AM   #5
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You didn't get the gramatically incorrect email offering the Vox?

I get their emails, only because I signed up for information on the Glo.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:19 AM   #6
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You didn't get the gramatically incorrect email offering the Vox?

I get their emails, only because I signed up for information on the Glo.
Yes I did. Isn't the Vox being discontinued? Seems a bit sus that the first bit of spam I get from the local people is them offloading the old product.

Seeing how I'm fluent in 14 dialects of Marketingese, I don't see the gramatical incorrectness.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by murg View Post
Kobo is giving your account email address to your local country affiliate.

I assume that this is if you purchase a book from the Kobo site, but got there through the affiliate. I never directly gave the affiliate my email address. Nor have I given direct permission for Collins Books to use the email address for marketing purposes.
Well, if you made it to Kobo through the Collins affiliate link (and I just went to Collins, clicked 'ebooks', and got thrown to Kobo, so I'm guessing that's the case), then you should realize that part of this new Kobo/indie/'affiliate' deal is that

1) there has to be a mechanism by which Kobo knows WHICH affiliate to share the revenue with

2) that mechanism is typically

2a) an affiliation by user account, which is noted by Kobo and associated with the user account's purchases, or

2b) an affiliation by device, whereby Kobo tracks where the 'affiliated' device got sold, and credits revenue to the selling affiliate.

(I may be missing details or nuance per country, but that's roughly it.)

Did you buy your device @ Collins? When I click Collins' "eReader" link, Kobo devices (and ONLY Kobo devices) come up.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Well, if you made it to Kobo through the Collins affiliate link (and I just went to Collins, clicked 'ebooks', and got thrown to Kobo, so I'm guessing that's the case), then you should realize that part of this new Kobo/indie/'affiliate' deal is that

1) there has to be a mechanism by which Kobo knows WHICH affiliate to share the revenue with

2) that mechanism is typically

2a) an affiliation by user account, which is noted by Kobo and associated with the user account's purchases, or

2b) an affiliation by device, whereby Kobo tracks where the 'affiliated' device got sold, and credits revenue to the selling affiliate.

(I may be missing details or nuance per country, but that's roughly it.)

Did you buy your device @ Collins? When I click Collins' "eReader" link, Kobo devices (and ONLY Kobo devices) come up.
I have no problems with what you wrote. I fully agree that Kobo has to know who you are, and who the affiliate is. And I don't have a problem with that, as I have accounts at Kobo.

The problem is letting the affiliate know your Kobo email address. All aspects of the affiliate/Retail Partner relationship can be fulfilled without your Kobo account email address being given to the affiliate.

And I didn't buy the device from Collins.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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Yes I did. Isn't the Vox being discontinued? Seems a bit sus that the first bit of spam I get from the local people is them offloading the old product.

Seeing how I'm fluent in 14 dialects of Marketingese, I don't see the gramatical incorrectness.
Ok upon review it appears I jumped to a conclusion. To me the headline "Look no further for this year's perfect gift" was wrong. I thought it should have been "years" or "years' " and not "year's". A quick google suggested that...well not that I was wrong, but I wasn't right.

I understand offloading a discontinued product, but offloading it at what has been normal selling price for several months of $229 is a bit rich if you ask me. I'll save my coin for the Arc
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:58 AM   #10
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The problem is letting the affiliate know your Kobo email address. All aspects of the affiliate/Retail Partner relationship can be fulfilled without your Kobo account email address being given to the affiliate.
Having seen one of these reports made for retailers myself (limited to my own activity), I'd have to say that leaving out information which identifies account activity kind of leaves the whole thing open to a giant fraud.

But, as you say, you're not a Collins customer. But you did say this:

Quote:
I assume that this is if you purchase a book from the Kobo site, but got there through the affiliate.
At least in the States, "got there through an affiliate" means that you followed a link from the affiliate to somewhere on Kobo.com, with a URL on the affiliate's website which included a parameter which identifies the affiliate to Kobo, so Kobo can meet their obligations to the affiliate, be it a single book sale, or a new registration. (Both activities result in revenue for the affiliate).

For example, here's a Kobo link from a randomly selected American web bookstore:

http://www.kobobooks.com/?utm_medium...rce=ABA2080030

Kobo knows where the referral came from by a parameter sent in clear text in the URL: the "ABA number" unique to each affiliate. If this linky goodness turns into an actual Kobo registration, or even a single title sale, part of the deal between Kobo and the affiliates states that some cash has gotta get kicked back (and, uh, obviously you have to give Kobo your email address).

I'm not being dismissive of privacy concerns, but this is the way the game is played at this point.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:15 AM   #11
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As meera pointed out above, Australia has very, very strict privacy laws.

Since I never specifically gave Collins my email address, they shouldn't have it. Nor have I given Collins specific permission to send me emails.

And how can not passing back customer information lead to fraud, unless it is being done by the store that did the transaction? The only fraud could be the non-payment of owed monies. Collins could have passed up a identification token for me to Kobobooks.com, and gotten that token back in a sales report, without my email address being included.

Last edited by murg; 11-21-2012 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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And how can not passing back customer information lead to fraud, unless it is being done by the store that did the transaction?
Again - speaking strictly for the USA situation - the "store that does the transaction" going forward is Kobo. Under the sunsetting ABA/Google deal, things were different: the individual retailer was the store doing the transaction - as a customer, you used the store's web-shopping cart, not Google Play's (although you had to give explicit permission to "link" your store and Google accounts, and all your ebook purchases were in your Google Play cloud). You were billed by the individual store (e.g., Collins, one's local indie) and they knew of every last transaction.

Fast forward to today, and the sunrising indie/Kobo deal, and the relationship much more closely resembles traditional "web affiliation", like when a blogger puts an Amazon link on his/her world-famous blog, and gets a taste back if someone buys through that link.

Quote:
The only fraud could be the non-payment of owed monies.
That's a pretty big window there.

I'm sure that retailers demand a full accounting. _I_ had to encourage my indie retailer to see a full accounting ASAP so we could hammer out exactly under what conditions he sees coin, so I would know the best way to shop to benefit my corner retailer.

I have to pay Kobo with a payment method registered there. I can't use accumulated credit in my indie store web account, for example. I can't add Kobo books to my indie store cart, like I could mix hardback and Google books in it.

Quote:
Collins could have passed up a identification token for me to Kobobooks.com, and gotten that token back in a sales report, without my email address being included.
I'm not defending scummy practices, just passing on what I know of where I personally live.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #13
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I had a thought on all of this.

I was never actually Collins 'customer' through all of this.

I was The Australian newspaper's customer. I started on their website, they automatically sent me to another page (on the Australain's website, I think, but could have been Collin's), and then onto Kobo's website for the actual 'purchase'.
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