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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Andrew EisenOh yeah, some outlets sensationalize things (especially with the chosen headline). No argument there. As far as gender issues not being widespread? I'm inclined to disagree but I suppose it depends on what specifically you're talking about.09/19/2014 - 3:43pm
SleakerI think I've been qualitatively informed by those Factual Femenist videos that there isn't reallly a widespread gender issue, and that there are select news outlets that try to sensationalize things.09/19/2014 - 3:37pm
james_fudgeI'm just going to leave this here before someone else does:http://yiannopoulos.net/2014/09/19/gamejournopros-zoe-quinn-email-dump/09/19/2014 - 3:21pm
NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
 

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