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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Wonderkarpthough not strictly games. I have Lightsabers mounted on the wall, and on a shelf you'll see the Infinity Gauntlet, the Ocarina of Time, a Sith Holocron, and some of my Ghostbusters Props11/22/2014 - 8:57pm
Wonderkarpswag of all kinds, Andrew. I'm trying to build a game room as impressive as AVGNs nerd room. I'm also trying to build a coffee table/storage space shaped like a NES Controller11/22/2014 - 8:55pm
E. Zachary KnightI need new controllers for my Gamecube. Its not everyday you can get brand new 1st party controllers.11/22/2014 - 8:51pm
Andrew EisenPredominately figurines or swag of all kinds?11/22/2014 - 8:37pm
WonderkarpI would like a new gamecube controller....but I also just like gaming swag....11/22/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI'm just waiting to buy a new Gamecube controller for my Gamecube.11/22/2014 - 7:15pm
Wonderkarphttp://kotaku.com/smash-bros-gamecube-adapters-sold-out-online-prices-g-1662162871 Smash Bros Gamecube adapter sold out, online prices go nuts11/22/2014 - 6:50pm
Andrew EisenI bet there's a lovely comedy of errors surrounding that list's journey to the IGDA's page!11/22/2014 - 6:49pm
Andrew EisenAnd the fact that it was curated by some random person on Twitter should have been another.11/22/2014 - 6:48pm
Andrew EisenYep, it's pretty clear that whoever at the IGDA grabbed that list, didn't look at it first. I think the fact that there's over 10,000 names on it should have been a bit of a red flag.11/22/2014 - 6:44pm
Wonderkarppenguin books is on the list. wow.11/22/2014 - 6:43pm
Wonderkarpthats better, though I'd prefer something a little more than a simple tweet, I'll take it.11/22/2014 - 6:37pm
Andrew EisenKate Edwards' Twitter: "like people, tools are imperfect; we've removed it for now."11/22/2014 - 6:35pm
Andrew EisenHard to say with any certainty but it appears it at least understands the tool didn't do what it thought it did.11/22/2014 - 6:34pm
WonderkarpI've yet to find the IGDA responding too the situation other than deleting a link.11/22/2014 - 6:34pm
Matthew WilsonI hope the IGDA understands why its a mistake, that's all I want.11/22/2014 - 6:33pm
Andrew EisenHeh, lawyering up would be grossly overracting! And really silly. Well, if what the IGDA did say was not enough for you, try contacting them and letting them know how you feel.11/22/2014 - 6:31pm
Wonderkarpall I want is an apology from the IGDA. nothing fancy, not even addressed to me. Just something that says, "We messed up. We're Sorry" thats it. Not exactly those words except Sorry. If I was overreacting, I'd be lawyering up.11/22/2014 - 6:29pm
Andrew EisenI get it, I just think you're taking it the wrong way and overreacting.11/22/2014 - 6:27pm
Wonderkarpatleast Matthew understands why I am miffed at that list11/22/2014 - 6:26pm
 

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