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People Complaining About Blizzard's "Real ID" Have Their Email Addresses Exposed

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Sometimes irony can be delicious. In this case, it's a little bit tragic, with the ESRB publicly releasing the email addresses of people who had written to the board to protest...the revelation of private information.

Blizzard's decision (and ultimate reversal) this week to institute a "real names" policy on the company's forums led to widespread protests across the internet, with many concerned that this would lead to an invasion of their privacy.


Around 1000 of those upset decided to email the ESRB, which has a history of championing online privacy through initiatives like the Privacy Online program.

Thing is, when responding to these, someone at the ESRB went and hit "reply all".


Thus anyone being replied to had instant access to the email addresses of all involved. It's not a dangerous mistake - it's not like these were home addresses or social security numbers being handed out - but a lot of people use their real names in email addresses, and if they're concerned enough about online privacy to write to the ESRB, they'll be concerned enough that their email addresses were handed out to around 1000 random strangers.

ESRB unintentionally exposes email addresses of people who filed complaints over Blizzard's Real ID system [WoW]