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Friday, November 09, 2007

Killing Junk Mail? Here is how

This may be the most useful website you ever read about on TechCrunch.

New La Jolla, California startup ProQuo launches this evening to help you battle all the evil that is being perpetually perpetrated against your personal information. Get countless credit card offers, catalogs and other junk in your mailbox everyday? ProQuo intends to do what the NoCall list did for telesales calls for all that stuff, too. Which means, kill it off.

ProQuo users not only save the hassle of dealing with junk mail (and the resulting identity theft risk), but also benefit the environment by cutting down on the amount of paper that’s shoved in their face.

After registration you are presented with a dozen or so types of mailing lists (coupons, credit cards, catalogs, etc.). You can stop most of them with a single click. Others require printing out a form or going to another website. But at the end of the process, you can kill off a ton of unwanted mail.

The company was founded in July 2006 and has raised $5 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson. In the future, they plan to expand to give users more control over other types of personal information, including financial and medical records.

Note that we’ve also recently written about CatalogChoice, which focuses on stopping unwanted catalogs. Services we’ve covered which focus on stopping identity theft include TrustedID and LifeLock.

As an aside, in my interview with CEO Steven Gal, he mentioned that the five year anniversary of the Do Not Call Registry is coming up this January. Anyone who registered at the site when it first went live is in for a nasty surprise - the opt out is valid for only five years. If you wait until January to do it again, you’ll have to put up with thirty days of telesales calls while the request goes active. And telesales companies are gearing up to make your life a living hell for those thirty days.

By Michael Arrington
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