Jigsaw's response to questions about spammers on their site

Jigsaw, a business contact exchange, just launched their official website. Their unique business model raises a lot of privacy/anti-spam concerns.

I wrote to the CEO, Jim Fowler:

> One obvious concern people will have about this service is that folks
> will use the addresses for purposes of spamming, and/or that the
> people behind Jigsaw have some nefarious intent. What information can
> you provide to alleviate those concerns?

He wrote back the following and gave me permission to reprint for publication:

Using Jigsaw for the purpose of collecting email addresses with which to spam is strictly prohibited by the Jigsaw Terms of Use. Any member Jigsaw identifies as a spammer will be locked out of Jigsaw permanently. In addition, Jigsaw does not use data added by members for spamming purposes.

From a practical standpoint, Jigsaw is not conducive to spamming because it
takes effort to get data out of the system. Even though a user gets at
least twice as many contacts out as he puts in, the effort is far too great for general spamming purposes.

That said, Jigsaw is a community database. Jigsaw members can take all of their data out of the system at any time, and it is possible that members could use the contacts they collect for spamming purposes. You can help by reporting any spamming activity by Jigsaw members to privacy @ jigsaw . com.

Best regards,

Jim Fowler
Jigsaw Data Corporation

I hear his points. That said, at some time soon someone is going to hack into the database of one of the major social network sites, and some users will become significantly less comfortable about the amount of personal information that is readily available on the web.