Minimizing vCard Email Spamming
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-09
vCards are electronic business cards that are used similarly to their counterpart, the physical business cards, to exchange information through electronic devices. They contain directory information such as name, address, fax, voice, URL and e-mail address, as well other features not present in physical cards such as audio and video graphics. The demand and use of this technology will grow as more people learn and adopt this new medium for exchanging pertinent information. Already many have seen or experience first hand the effects of e-mail spamming. Unlike physical mail, e-mail does not incur cost on the sender. With vCards, spamming can be a problem, especially for businessmen who regular use vCards as a form for contact. To protect the vCard user and minimize spamming; this invention idea is to use generated temporary e-mail addresses that are propagated to the vCard user's e-mail server. The user's e-mail server will create an account base on the mailbox name. A default configuration option is applied to the mailbox: how long the box will exist, whether the box will forward the e-mail to another box, etc. The invention idea is the automatic generation of temporary mailboxes specifically for vCards and transmitting this to the mail server for creation. Current known solutions available include mail servers that allow for temporary creation of email addresses through different interfaces (web pages, scripts) but do not allow integration to other forms of media.
Minimizing vCard Email Spamming
The invention idea allows for the user to create an e-mail address on the fly for their vCard and propagate this knowledge back to the mail server for creation. The idea is not the creation of temporary e-mail addresses alone but also includes the intercommunication( for configurable options) between the mail server and specifically, the vCard device. In effect, this protects the dedicated mail address from receiving unwanted mail, which would force the user to either to create a new mail address or install spam filters. Since the e-mail address is temporary, it does not have to be in human readable form. This will minimize the likelihood of unwanted mail that comes from brute force address spammers.
There are other possible business applications to this invention including market hits and referrals. Different e-mail addresses can be given out at different regions of travel, different venues, or per person bases. Base on the responses, the server can track the pulse of the area. This can be significant in determining the numbers of people/resources to allocate for future events in that area. Another value add is the coupling of available information to generate a unique profile tailored to each person who will receive the card. If the vCard device is a phone, imagine the tupling of picture, Global Positioning System (GPS) location (which can be deciphered into a name), and date; this information can be encoded into a unique e-mail address, which then can be h...