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Privacy Power!  Home:  Advertising & Marketing:  Be Free (BFAST)

General Info | Business Components | Web Sites | Privacy Info | Business Associates

Be Free (BFASTSM)  

Server List: See Stephen Martin's Hosts File List (Be Free (Bfast) Group)

About Be Free: -

Be Free is a marketing group that loves buzz phrases and acronyms. Excuse me. I meant to say... Be Free is a "full-service affiliate marketing solution" that places online retailers into similar merchandising groups within the Be Free network so that targeted advertising can be more effectively served up.

Be Free's targeting technology is BSELECTSM, "...a next-generation personalization technology that enables an e-business to use its customers' past and present anonymous online behavior to recommend products, information, and services that are most appropriate for each visitor."

The merchandise and "sales channels" promotions are hawked about town by Affiliates and E-Marketers whose ranks are increased by Affiliate Recruiters & E-cruiters (*groan*).

For merchants who outsource to Be Free, "...Ad Trafficking is available to merchants who use our ad serving technology (BFITSM) and would like Be Free to administer the campaigns, monitor site and performance activity, and generate and distribute reports as requested."

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Business Components  

BFAST (Be Free Affiliate Serving Technology) is the proprietary technology used to drive all this activity. It handles all aspects related to a "sales channel" and supplies merchants with site reports. "The beFLEXSM architecture layer in the BFASTSM software gives you complete flexibility to make change(s) to your site. [...] Tracking and reporting of impressions, click-throughs and purchases remain uninterrupted while you incorporate your changes."

Affiliates apply to merchants within the network and if approved, "...can earn commissions on click-throughs, leads or purchases [made via their links] depending on the arrangement with the merchant." Affiliates with web sites place promotions and links on their sites. Users without web sites can participate as affiliate E-marketers, using "...their e-mail capability to place a text link in the body of their message."

Affiliate Recruiters find new Affiliates and E-Marketers. Recruiters place links or buttons on their website that lead to the Affiliate sign-up process. E-cruiters place special signature files in their emails that include links to Affiliate sign-up process. 'Cruiters get $2 for each Affiliate that signs up via their link and is approved.

The Be Free Affiliate Recruiters website is bound by the Be Free Privacy Policy. It also has a separate statement at that relates to the Affiliates program.

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Be Free Web Sites  

Except for (B-CAUSE, charity-related), the Be Free-owned websites are all educational & assistance sites for merchants, affiliates & e-marketers in the Be Free system: - - - - -

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Privacy Information  

Be Free Privacy Policy:

Be Free has a very detailed "Statement of Responsible Online Marketing" that covers all issues and does so clearly. The only slippery sentence I found was the first sentence of the "Spam" section.

As I only include excerpts here, I recommend reading it in full at the site if for no other reason than to compare it to the usual sort of privacy statement. This doesn't mean I'd be happy to be tracked by them. It just means I think they wrote a clear statement. (They should get the person who wrote it to rewrite the rest of the site :)

"Changing business needs, technologies, and governmental requirements may make it necessary for Be Free to update this Privacy Policy from time to time. Any changes will be posted at this site. Except as otherwise required by law, modifications to this Privacy Policy will not affect the privacy of data collected by Be Free prior to the effective date of the policy change."

User Privacy - Be Free collects "anonymous Internet browsing and online purchase data" from cookies and clickstream data. "Be Free does not track the identity or contact information of end users. [...] Be Free does not sell, rent, or disclose profile data to any party." [...] For improved audience targeting, Be Free's personalization technology allows merchant clients to add non-personally-identifying demographic information -- such as age, gender, area code, or ZIP code -- to the anonymous profile data. Be Free does not allow its merchants to submit any personally identifying data to the profiles, and if any were received it would be discarded immediately. Thus, there is no direct connection between a user's online choices and his or her personal identity."

Affiliate Privacy - "Be Free shares neither personally identifiable information about an affiliate nor information about an affiliate's performance with any parties but the affiliate and the merchant with whom that affiliate has a contract."

Merchant Client and Affiliate Web Sites - "While Be Free encourages merchant clients and affiliates to adopt responsible approaches to online marketing, Be Free is not responsible for the information practices of merchant clients or their affiliates."

Be Free's Website - "Information gathered through Be Free's web site is used only for the purposes expressed on the web site and is shared with no outside parties."

Security: "Be Free employs industry standard security measures to ensure the security of all data."

Spam "Be Free will never intentionally send unsolicited e-mail messages that could legitimately be construed as spam. Be Free educates and encourages its merchant clients to uphold the same standards." (Policies on Spam follow full statment on their site).

Opt-Out Option: Be Free has a separate website for opting out with an unusual feature I've not seen elsewhere:

"Be Free empowers users to access and modify their anonymous profile data through a Profile Control Panel. [...] The panel displays the web site and web page information incorporated into a user's personalized recommendations. The Profile Control Panel allows users to remove individual records that they do not wish to have associated with their profile, remove all of the records in the profile, or opt out of personalization entirely. Be Free provides access to this panel on its own web site, and requires that its personalization service clients also provide clear access to the Profile Control Panel."

Privacy Contact:

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Business Associates:  

Be Free Affiliated Merchant Sites:

A very long list can be viewed alphabetically at or by category at

Partners Include:

Joint Marketing Partners: CyberSource, Open Market, OrderTrust, Pandesic, and

Solutions Partners: Carat Freeman Interactive, e-Accountable, ESA Group, escalate, FusionDM, Interactive Papyrus, iPares Ltd., Koryak Consulting, Luminant Worldwide, M2K, Merle, Middleberg Euro rscg, Pulsity, Solutions Factory, TargetMarket Interactive, Technomarketing, The Arkitektive, Three Marketeers, US Interactive, Vectrix, Vizium, and Xcelerate.

Technology Partners: Allaire, Fine Point Technologies, Homestead, ixla Webeasy, netJane, NetMechanic, NetObjects,, and Trellix.

Last Reviewed: Aug 23-00

Quoted excerpts are © Be Free and/or their subsites unless otherwise noted.

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