MyPoints.com Trades ISP Service for Consumer Info

Direct marketer MyPoints.com made consumers an offer on Tuesday — give us your personal information, and we’ll provide you with free ISP service and loyalty points.

The service, MyPoints.com (MYPT) Connect!, experiments with a new model at a time when Internet advertising companies have come under fire for collecting information on consumers’ surfing habits without explicit permission.

Although free ISPs have long been collecting information from users, which they use to target advertising, this is the first to add the loyalty element.

Users of the new ISP earn points redeemable on MyPoints.com for signing up, and for every month in which they spend at least 10 hours online. By volunteering to share personal information, they also receive email offers targeted to their specific interests. Members will also be directed to the MyPoints.com Web site when they begin their Internet browsing session.

“MyPoints Connect! complements everything we do for our members and our advertising clients. By rewarding our members simply to use the Internet, we are able to learn about their browsing behavior by permission,” said Steve Markowitz, chairman and chief executive officer.

“We can then use this valuable data to target advertisements on behalf of our clients even more accurately, and to further enhance our strong response rates.”

MyPoints Connect! was created through a partnership with 1stUp.com, which has provided free ISP service for companies like Excite@Home, AltaVista, Lycos, and Gay.com.

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