I received an email a couple of days ago which I’d like to share with you .
I hope you're well, I'm contacting you on behalf of QuizFactor.com (http://www.quizfactor.com). We are a relatively new, free quiz website who are looking to grow our community amongst other like minded websites, I hope you don't mind this polite note! :-)
We wanted first of all to say 'Hi!' as we found your excellent site. Amongst your content I noticed you also have a 'recommended links' section, and wondered whether you would consider including QuizFactor in some way? We feel that our content could be of interest to your audience, and vice versa as well. We have a growing number of quizzes that we think your users would be interested in, we like to think we have a quiz for everyone!
As QuizFactor is still young, we're are also interested in hearing any feedback on the site, please do let me know if you have any comments at all.
Thanks for your time, any queries do just let us know!
Quizfactor.com - The fun free quiz site!”
Well, I’m always open to a bit of flattery, and likewise I’m always happy to help out any genuine quiz site if I can, but I emailed them back to say that I would check their site out before I made my decision. I clicked on the link, and found an extremely commercial looking site. This made me a little uneasy, but I played as a guest, and the games weren’t bad. There’s a lot better out there too, but they were OK. Someone had spent a bit of time and money putting the site together , for this is not your typical amateur enthusiast’s homemade website at all. So I started wondering about who was paying for everything , and why someone would go to the trouble of making a site like this just for the love of the game.
Still wondering what the catch was, I went to the online form page for joining the site. The attraction of joining, I suppose, would be that you could record your scores, and see where you’d place on the score board for different games. When I saw the online form you had to fill in I did start to feel very uneasy. For one thing they were asking for a lot of personal information. See what you think. This is a free site, and yet they want to know the name or number of your house, your postcode, your email address and your date of birth. These are all required fields.
I think you can probably see where I am heading with this. Still, I thought I’d better give them the chance to explain themselves, and so I emailed them my concerns, and asked them to tell me why the hell they asked for all of this information - whether there was a parent organization they belonged to, and who with any sort of quiz background was involved. Then I decide to do a little digging myself.
It didn’t take long to find out that the domain name quizfactor.com belongs to IPT ltd. IPT stands for Interactive Prospective Targeting. Just to make it absolutely clear what we’re dealing with , their own homepage helpfully states : -
“ IPT provides a one-stop shop for all your online direct marketing needs. Our market-leading database building and list rental products here to work for you.
. . . IPT Data Rental
With over 3 million unique opt-in email addresses, over 7.3 million household postal addresses, 1.4 million landline telephone numbers, 1.7 million validated SMS numbers and 900 demographic / lifestyle selections, IPT can help you define and reach your target audience. “
So that answered my concerns, and basically says that my nostrils were correct when I smelt a large rodent. I’m not saying that IPT would do anything illegal or wrong with the information once they have it. However I didn’t like the way that there is no clue on the form about where your information might be going, and who might be able to access it. Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe this company have created this site out of the goodness of their hearts, just to spread a little more joy and happiness in the world. You make up your own mind about that one.
Needless to say I haven’t joined the site, and I have emailed them back to tell them that I will not be adding their site to my recommended links, and explaining my reasons why. At the time of posting they have not bothered to reply.
Obviously its not my place to tell anyone not to go on this quiz site. However I personally would not go near it again with the proverbial bargepole, and I strongly advise anyone to think very , very carefully before joining it, bearing in mind the details you’ll be giving to the company that owns the site.