An anonymous reader shares a report: I wanted to know how all these merchants had gotten my professional contact info. What I discovered was both unsurprising in today’s world of relentless online marketing and aggressive consumer data sharing, and also a bit disquieting. It also had less to do with these small shops than I might have expected: Square’s parent company, Block, was selling access to customers’ inboxes, even if all we do is elect to receive a receipt from a single transaction (more on that below). Privacy experts said selling marketing information in this way clearly falls short of best privacy practices. And while it doesn’t appear to violate data protection laws, the practice is walking a fine line.

“They’re trying to solve for a lot of different nuances whilst trying to serve their objective and their merchant objective, which is keeping as many people opted in as possible,”

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