We live in a flat. The flat is in a block that is managed by a housing association. We do stuff like pay them management fees. They do stuff like getting the lawns cut and keeping the window frames and hallways decorated in a nice way.
Yesterday, I received an email from them, asking me to send them feedback on a survey form.
Nothing weird or wrong in that, until I took a closer look. The To: header of the email contained a large number of addresses. So many, in fact, that I assume that the list is constituted of the addresses of everyone who lives in a block managed by this same company (of which I believe there are many). There are some interesting ones too, like people who appear to work for banks and major retailers in London, as well as the usual array of hotmail and btinternet accounts.
I was a little bit upset about my email address being shared with this many people, so I sent a polite note to the man who had originally sent it, reminding him to use a mailing list of some kind, or the Bcc: header, to avoid this kind of thing in future.
Today, I received an advertisement for some cosmetics. My spam filter didn’t cut it out. Why would it? The email wasn’t particularly “spammy” in content (not a Nigerian scam, not offensive, no offer of pills to improve my performance). It was addressed directly to me, and carried genuine headers.
Interestingly, the Cc: list corresponded directly with the To: list from yesterday. I spotted the same great and good companies in the list of addresses.
I replied to the lady in question, and copied the man from the housing association. I explained that not only was this a violation of my privacy, but the further use of the information (when clearly the list of addresses was revealed in error) was totally unacceptable.
I hope that some people get a clue as a result of this. I’ll be interested to see whether I get an apology from either of the parties involved. I just hope that some joker doesn’t do a “reply to all”…