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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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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