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We didn't even tick a box, man

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It seems that data protection and music festivals don't dance merrily off into the sunset together.

Cries of "I didn't tick any box" have been flooding into Vulture Central with many readers telling us they had only registered for this year's Glastonbury festival via the official website.

Despite this, lots of people still received spam from Mean Fiddler, the organisers behind the Latitude festival.

See Tickets, the booking agent for both Glasto and Latitude told us yesterday that, as set out in the firm's internet policy, third parties can access data only if given an individual's consent to do so.

In other words, you have to tick a box.

In a move to stop tickets being sold illegally, Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis had introduced a new system to combat touts.

Anyone wanting tickets for this year's festival had to pre-register at the official website. Organisers had promised that no personal data would be shared and that all of it would be destroyed one month after the event.

But, of the 400,000 who registered for the world's largest muddy, mooing music festival, many never got as far as See Tickets in the booking process to bag their spot because the system was hopelessly overstretched.

A Glastonbury festival spokesman told us yesterday that an apology had been sent out to all those hit by Latitude's email, however he refused to comment further on how the personal data had ended up in the hands of Mean Fiddler.

The two music firms have worked closely in the past and for this year's event Mean Fiddler will be responsible for applying for licencing and some basic organisation at the Glastonbury site on Worthy farm.

In fact, it's quite a cosy relationship, as the email at the centre of the data protection cock-up directly quoted Michael Eavis endorsing Latitude festival as the alternative option to Glastonbury.

Although Mean Fiddler and Glastonbury festival organisers are remaining tight-lipped over how so many people were spammed, a stack of comments and emails from angry music fans to El Reg and elsewhere on messageboards seem to suggest that data was somehow leaked.

Mean Fiddler is still refusing to take our calls, despite several requests for comment. Usefully, one spokeswoman at the firm suggested we send an email to the database manager.

But we wouldn't want to end up being spammed now, would we? ®

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