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Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

January 15, 2012

GCT has often had some contests that we have never entered.  But, somehow we decided to enter this contest, even though we've been on several river cruises and winning one would probably be a repeat, but we love them.  So, I read the rules for entering this contest.

The requirement to enter the sweepstakes is that 1) we must enter through the Like on Facebook;  and 2) we MUST enter our birth date. 

In this day and age of identity theft I strongly object to entering that information on Facebook; I have joined Facebook but did not enter my picture, my age, my birth date, my high school, or any other personal information.  I'm glad I haven't entered this personal info.  Why?  Because information boomerangs.  One day I got an email from a family member that said our family picture was put on my Facebook page,and sure enough it showed a large picture with our names and the date we visited.  Today, as I opened Facebook  to look  at GCT's Rules and Regulations for entering the Sweepstakes, I noticed in the outside ad column, a friend's name twice, that he had visited a  Singles Site.  I wonder if he knows that his personal use of the website he visited shared his info with Facebook friends.  Maybe he doesn't want some of his friends to know this and didn't realize his info would be shared..  Facebook says they never share personal information with other companies.

Another time I had emails telling me I had notifications.  Sure enough, there were comments from one family member to another that I considered great news but personal--but they had been also been posted on MY Facebook page that my family member had a notification.  It's okay to share, but to ALL our "Friends" on Facebook. 

I don't think GCT should be asking for applications for Sweepstakes on Facebook, and then to MUST include your birth date.  I think that information can be requested at time of winning.  This contest appears to be open to the public.    Since I have not posted my birth date on Facebook, if I enter this information for the sweepstakes which must be done on Facebook, then my birth date will also be available to any and all.  Since I get notices from other people whom I don't even know, but who know some of my Friends on Facebook, I'm sure someone whom I don't  know, some unscrupulous person, may have access to my birthdate.

I feel cheated now, that I cannot (say "won't") enter this Sweepstakes contest since I won't allow my birth date to be entered on Facebook. 

Does anyone else have any comments/thoughts on this?    Previously GCT used to just use their website or have contestants send in written applications to enter their contests.  .

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 15, 2012

I think you're right.  Before, we used to fill out a form saying what trips we were interested in doing and that would automatically enter us in any sweepstakes contest for any of those trips.  That was all snailmail.  And the drawings were months away.

I have taken myself off Facebook, not that I was on for long and not that I posted much of anything.  It was mostly to connect with some long-lost relatives.  But I'm really not interested in what people eat for breakfast or what movies they have seen.  Anyone I want to get in touch with, I do the "old-fashioned" way   -  on e-mail.

I'm surprised they asked for personal information to qualify for the contest.  Nowadays, we have to be very careful what information gets out.

Author: oldbog

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 41
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 1999

January 16, 2012

 I would just like to enter my agreement with the previous posts.  If enough of us do it might prompt a change back to the old ways.  Other companies have on-line contests which do not ask for such personal info.

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

January 16, 2012

I agree with the previous posts.  I certainly would not enter any personal information on a general facebook site.  Like most Grand Circle Travel customers I would like to be included in your contest but not at the cost of my privacy.  Why don't you put the contest up on your web site in addition to facebook.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

January 16, 2012

Thanks to all of you who share my concerns.  Yes, maybe GCT will change their application process; hope so.  But more importantly, that others than myself have the same thought on posting identity information on a social network.  It's gotten too social and an innocent situation could put our personal info in jeopardy.

Thanks for the support.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

January 16, 2012

I agree with all of the above.

Author: suepoor1234

Joined: 7/20/2011
Posts: 38
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

All the states except Hawaii; east and west Canada, all of Western Europe(except Iceland and Greenland); the Baltics and Scandanavia; Belarus, Poland, Ukraine; Russia; Turkey, Jordan and Israel; China, Mongolia, and Tibet; Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania; Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatamala, El Salvador; Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Peru, Argentina; Australia and New Zealand; Antarctica.

Traveler Since: 2007

January 16, 2012

Ditto.  I don't belong to Facebook and don't intend to, but I notice it loads on my computer when I turn it on.  I think it must be part of the package with my software.  I have never accessed it.  People give out much too much personal information and allow too much access as well.  I am always astonished at young people's lack of -- shall we say -- awareness in what they are sharing with the public. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 16, 2012

This brings up a question that I've had for a while.  Several times, people have posted the dates they'll be on a particular trip, usually looking for travel companions.  But sometimes they give their real names (in full), e-mail addresses or cities of origin. 

As far as I can determine, anybody can log into the website and read postings.  Is that correct?  Is it only to post that you have to sign in? 

If so, it's like a big sign saying your house will be empty for those dates.  Any opinions?

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

January 16, 2012

Pauline, you are correct. The contents of posts can be read by anyone in the world. I'm sometimes appalled by the personal information which I see in posts. And including an email address is like an open invitation to spammers because they use programs to scan web pages looking for addresses. It's a shame that GCT didn't include the ability to do private messaging, which is a common feature in discussion groups, because that would give participants a way to exchange personal information without making it public.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

January 17, 2012

Thanks for all the threads that supports my original concern.  Before I posted in the Travel Forum I sent an email to GCT with my comments on applying for the Sweepstakes via Facebook.  We'll see if they respond to me personally on this--they usually do, so we will see.

Thanks again for support.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

January 17, 2012

First of all, I would like to emphasize that my previous comments were about the use of personal information some people include in their posts in GCT's discussion groups but not the River Cruise Sweepstakes which I hadn't yet seen.

Now that I have looked at the Sweepstakes Official Rules, I didn't find anything that I object to. Although they require personal information (which I wouldn't want publized) in the entry, they say that the use of this information is subject to their Privacy Policy which states We do not share your personal information, except in order to provide services and information to you, or as required by law.

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