ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

July 13, 2010 -

Upset with Blizzard’s temporary implementation of a Real ID system on its official forums, which meant users would have to utilize their real names in order to post, around one thousand users complained to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

The ESRB promptly responded to those who complained via an email, but, according to WOW.com, sent an electronic communication with all the complainer’s email addresses fully visible in the “to” section of the message, neglecting to use the BCC or blind email option.

The email to those who complained thanked them for contacting the ESRB, noted that Blizzard had reversed the policy and offered:

ESRB, through its Privacy Online program, helps companies develop practices to safeguard users' personal information online while still providing a safe and enjoyable video game experience for all. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us with your concerns, and please feel free to direct any future inquiries you may have regarding online privacy to our attention.

Update: In response to an inquiry, an ESRB spokesperson told GP that the flub was the result of an "an unfortunate error” by an employee. The spokesperson added:

In our effort to respond quickly to the thousands of gamers who wrote to the ESRB, we inadvertently revealed a limited number of recipients' e-mail addresses in our reply. This was both unfortunate and regrettable, and for that we sincerely apologize to all those who were affected.  They deserve to trust that their information will be handled with the same confidentiality, care and respect that we require of companies that display our Privacy Online seal.

 

We take this issue seriously and are doing everything we can to ensure it does not happen again in the future.


Comments

Re: ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

'...please feel free to direct any future inquiries you may have regarding online privacy to our attention.'

Intentional or not, that's just hilarious...

Re: ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

 

I have to laugh at the irony; responding to anonymity complaints by leaking email addresses. 

Re: ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

Oh, for FFS, it's their website, they can do what they want. Except for the fact that I believe in anonymity on the Internet for the sake of protecting free speech, I say it's just a forum and you have the option of not posting. Sure, tell Blizzard what you think, protest, whatever, but taking it to a third party like the ESRB? Ridiculous.

Re: ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

Only as long as you can contact Blizzard in other ways for Tech Support, of course. Otherwise it's not an option. And for a commercial product that would be a severe act.

Re: ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

Any serious issue I've had with a blizzard product was handled by email or phone. Trying to get tech support through a forum is like walking into a crowded room and asking for game reviews, all you get is a bunch of unintelligible noise.

Re: ESRB Blind to BCC Email Option (Update)

The issue is that Blizzard's forums have ESRB's privacy certification.  The people complaining to the ESRB felt that the Real ID terms were a violation of that certification and the ESRB should revoke it.

Per Ars: the ESRB responded that privacy and anonymity aren't the same thing, and that Real ID passed their standards for the exact reasons that you say: the terms were spelled out clearly and were opt-in.

Giving up a bunch of people's E-Mail addresses without warning them, on the other hand, is not; ESRB screwed up on this one.

 
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Papa MidnightKyle Orland's response: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/addressing-allegations-of-collusion-among-gaming-journalists/09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Papa MidnightJames, I say this as a person who has managed a gaming press website before: This article is horrendous sensationalism: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Krono@james I never said you did. I was responding to Andrew's statement that he'd seen a mere two articles suggesting that the term gamer was tainted, by pointing him to a list of the articles that were more or less the orgin of the idea.09/18/2014 - 12:09pm
E. Zachary KnightBut james, you replied to my tweet when I tweeted about one of those articles. That is basically the same thing as writing an editorial on GP in support of it. ;)09/18/2014 - 12:04pm
james_fudgeNot only did we not write one, we didn't cover any of them either.09/18/2014 - 11:46am
KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.gog.com/forum/general/double_fine_abandoned_spacebase_df9_development ITT: People who don't know what Early Access is.09/18/2014 - 9:32am
ZippyDSMleeFF2/4 remake now on steam.09/18/2014 - 9:13am
james_fudgeThis what they really think of us: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?54192709/18/2014 - 9:10am
ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
Michael ChandraSo be smart, and if you want to be part of the good guys, separate yourself from the bad guys. Don't attack those upset you won't.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraMeanwhile, Gamergate is tainted and wise people already use a different tag to defend decent arguments. Keeping it up is like going #KKK while arguing about PoC.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraSo while claiming to be unfairly attacked for the actions of a selected few, you unfairly attack an entire crowd for the actions of a selected few? #notagamer #butahater09/18/2014 - 6:30am
james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
 

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