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Disappointed Glastonbury fans spammed by rival festival

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Glastonbury festival organisers have a substantial amount of egg on their faces today after El Reg learned of a data protection cock-up with the live music firm's registration system.

An email targeted at people who missed out on the iconic British music festival was sent out by Mean Fiddler suggesting they buy tickets for the Latitude festival instead.

Tickets for Glasto had sold out in record timing on 1 April, leaving around 223,000 wannabe festival goers without a ticket.

All those hopeful of securing a spot at the huge hippie music fest had been directed from Glastonbury's website to www.seetickets.com, the agency responsible for selling the event's tickets.

At the time of registration the festival organiser said:

"No information collected by registration will be offered for sale or used by any third party organisation. Unsuccessful ticket applicants will have their data destroyed and all ticket holders' registration details and photos will be destroyed within one month of the 2007 festival."

But here's the rub - See Tickets does share its data when a customer ticks the third party box.

In what would have been a chaotic day for people clambering to get their hands on tickets, the likelihood of them having time to read the small print would have been pretty slim.

The result? Mean Fiddler, which has some involvement in the basic setup and licencing needs of Glastonbury, jumped at the chance to woo disappointed live music fans to the Latitude festival and sent out an email which read:

Dear Festival Goer,

I'm sorry you were unable to get a ticket to Glastonbury this year. I hope there will be another chance for you to come during the next four years. Of course there's always BBC TV and radio to keep you in touch with the music that will be going on around the various stages.

Can I suggest that you might like to look at the possibility of going to another festival---namely the Latitude festival, set in a beautiful part of Suffolk. Although much smaller it has some terrific music and has a similar feel to it by way of theatre comedy circus and much more.

Tickets are available at http://www.seetickets.com/?a=latitu&filler2=g

Best wishes and thank you so much for supporting our festival

Latitude Festival.

We put a call in to See Tickets to try and find out how the data ended up in the hands of another festival organiser.

A chap on the booking line told us: "You would have to tick a box to be added to the mailing list and that's probably how the data would have been made available for the email to go out."

We also spoke to a Glastonbury spokesperson who claimed that an apology had been sent out to all those people targeted by the email. The statement said:

You were sent an email about Latitude festival 2007, which should not have happened. For this, we unreservedly apologise. It will not happen again.

We would emphasise that Glastonbury festival takes the issue of Data Protection and the privacy of those who registered with us extremely seriously. Your personal details have not been sold on to anyone else and will not be passed on to anyone else. As agreed during the registration process, all details collected during registration will be destroyed a month after the festival.

We are sorry for the inconvenience we have caused.

Glastonbury Festivals Ltd.

However, the spokesperson was unable to comment further on whether or not the data had been made available via the third party tick box option on See Tickets or through a different method.

Plenty of people who received the Latitude email have been complaining on forums that they had not given their consent for the data to be shared.

Mean Fiddler was unavailable for comment at time of going to press. ®

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