One of the high points in my job as an IT journalist is the shows and conferences I attend - usually on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. Because many of the events are small or less well-known, I usually register as a regular member of the public for such events - even esteemed journalists like my good self don't get special treatment all the time, you see.
And guess what? My registration information - and yours too, I suspect - gets sold and resold.
How do I know this? Well, I use a slightly different version of my name and office address for general show and conference registrations. That way, if certain email addresses and postal details are used, I know my information has been sold.
Personal information sale without the permission of the information owner (that's you and me folks) is a contravention of the Data Protection Act. As is a Web site that does not have a data privacy statement.
Next time you register for an event, it might be worth checking what the company plans on doing with your personal information. The results will, I suspect, shock you.
Now I must be going - the office phone line is ringing with yet another salesperson making a call based on illegally-supplied personal data from my show registration...