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I was playing around with Amazon's Check out process today and I noticed something odd. Amazon does not make you activate your account or verify your email address. I only had to enter my email twice during the registration process. They never sent me an activation email. Is this becoming standard? I can understand the reasoning that if you entered someone else's email address during registration the person who actually owns the email address could change the password on the account. It just seems really odd. Can someone explain how they get away with this?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 19 '10 at 3:51

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2 Answers 2

Email activation doesn't stop automated registration and it's generally a nuisance for the user.

Amazon is in the business of making it as easy as possible for you to register and drill down through their checkout structure so you pay them. An email activation system is just a speed bump with no worthwhile purpose. What does Amazon care if you didn't provide a real email address if you gave real credit card information?

On the other hand, a message board website might want you to verify your email to inconvenience the average spammer. But even then, check out utilities like http://10minutemail.com/10MinuteMail/index.html that makes "bogus" email verification effortless.

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You make some good points, but no anti-spam/bot system is perfect. The idea is just to make it difficult enough that spammers will move on to easier targets. For smaller sites, email verification may be just enough to do that. And most legitimate users are happy to verify their email address. I mean, what do you think will turn off users more? Having to verify your email once on sign-up, or having to wade through spam messages every time you visit the site? –  Lèse majesté Dec 19 '10 at 13:15
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What do you mean how do they get away with that?

The just don't do it... There's no getting away with anything, as there's nothing that says they have to.

They don't save any information other than email, name, and wish list, so there really isn't that much that someone could get away with if the email address wasn't the registrants...

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