BBC stumbles on email list
Unsubscribers sent to whole list
The BBC has suspended its London Travel email list after mistakes were made which led anyone trying to unsubscribe from the service sending their email address to everyone on the list.
The service was reactivated last week but has now been suspended. Annoyed subscribers found they were receiving all unsubscribe requests.
The BBC sent us the following statement: "On 4th July the previously suspended BBC London Travel newsletter was re-activated and an email sent to its original recipient list. The email was distributed to advise on the reactivation of the service but also offered recipients the option to unsubscribe."
"A human error occurred which led to users email addresses being revealed to the distribution list when individuals opted to stop the service. It also resulted in members of the list receiving unwanted emails from those that hit unsubscribe. The service has now been completely suspended and the BBC, its technology partner Siemens and Red Bee Media are currently re-evaluating activation processes to ensure that this does not happen again."
Specially woven mailing list software
I actually wonder if half of these mailing lists really are run using special programs or scripts, or if a radio producer doesn't simply copy & paste a list of email addresses into the BCC field of a normal email, and sometimes they forget and either paste into the To or CC field by mistake? Lets face it, it's pretty much the culture in radio to lie about things being all fancy when really it's all held together by cellotape. Doctor Fox's jukebox (Earths most powerful music machine in its day, apparently) was in reality a teenage runner being sent to fetch CDs whenever the producer prodded them. So do todays producers even know what a mailing list is? Do they think it's simply a term to describe mass mailing people from the BCC field? (or at least trying to)
I misread your comment of "Does no-one use the BCC field anymore?" as "Does no-one use the BBC field anymore?"
Now there's a thought, a field that the BBC could use to indicate that there were potentially a whole lot of problems just around the corner! Nice.
Does no-one use the BCC field anymore?
If that happens in a bank
Someone gets fired. You know, privacy, accountability and all those quaint things.
Betcha if the CEO's email went out the issue would be solved real quick !
It isn't that hard... is it?
The problems being reported look like an amateur was put in charge of both development and testing. It really is not that difficult, as long as you take your user's best interests seriously.
Test 1, (the me me me approach)
Run the app and see if it can handle 100k users without crashing the server.
Test 2, (the we take our users seriously approach).
Run the app and see what it sends, who it sends it to, and when it sends it
I know how difficult it is, I have developed a subscription/mailing system myself.
Now, I am being made redundant in 3 months time and have a huge database of email addresses and user profiles...... Hmmm, security is a multi faceted thing.