They tell them, you know, 'Don't post your personal information on Facebook. Don't post your personal information on MySpace. Don't give out your address. Don't even give out what school you go to,' And yet, they are selling these names and addresses [Shannon Barnes, quoted in "Complaint Alleges Names Could Fall into Wrong Hands," KSFY.com, 2009.08.25].
As Lake Herman Sanitary District president, I received a call earlier this summer from a salesman for a local retailer who asked if we would give him our address list so they could do some direct mail advertising. As noted in our minutes from last week's meeting, I declined to hand out that list. (At least Lawrence and I can agree on something! ;-) )
Of course, I hear the Lake Madison Sanitary District will sell you a copy of their address list for a reasonable fee. Porbably a good deal. Besides, Lake Madison folks spend more money, anyway—much better targets for an ad campaign.
I'm also happy to note that my current employer, Dakota State University, does not sell its student lists to commercial interests or anyone else. Heck, we aren't even printing a paper directory this year.