Disposable email addresses and credit card numbers

Matt Griffith points to an ingenious anti-spam scheme based on the notion of disposable email addresses:

If you hate Spam - and who doesn’t - do yourself a favor and check out Spamex . For $10 per year you get 500 disposable email addresses [ matt.griffith ]

This idea is cousin to Orbiscom's disposable credit-card number , another great exercise in lateral thinking.

I think disposable email addresses are a great idea. Ultimately, though, I'd like to reverse the trust dynamics. This scheme assumes that people you don't know are untrustworthy, and gives you a way to shut them down when that proves to be the case. I still haven't given up on the idea that people you don't know can assert their identities, along with some degree of a priori trust conferred by institutions and/or by social relationships.

Spam's only the thin edge of the wedge. Either we play the game of identity management on our own terms, or we allow Intel and Microsoft to define the rules. Using fake identities like toilet paper is a neat trick, but we still have to come to grips with the real identities we project into cyberspace.




Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/07/05.html#a328