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Computing website apologises for data gaffe

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Venerable tech mag Computing has apologised to readers who clicked on a link in a marketing email only to find a completed form filled with someone else's account details.

The email offered readers who filled in the survey the chance to win an Aston Martin track day. However, it appears that all the readers who filled in the form got something special - other readers' contact details.

One Register reader said: "This morning's survey from Computing contains a personalised link to completing the survey, however the personal details shown at the end of it are someone else's details! I had an unknown chap call me this morning to say that upon completion of the survey he was presented with a screen showning my details: name, address, email, phone number and fax.

"Good way to round off the week!"

Other readers noted that if you hit refresh then the page showed a different user's account details. Data included name, address, job title, company size and sector along with email and phone details.

The mag sent out a further email claiming the link mistakenly sent readers to a test account. It blamed an unforeseen error.

New technology deployments sometimes come with unforseen outcomes. Unforutnately tracking links in this email have not worked properly and have directed all users into the same test account. We apologise for this and thank you for your participation. This has now been resolved.

Computing's editor Bryan Glick said: "It was a technical error by an external supplier, and as soon as we found out about the problem the survey was taken down. We have contacted all the people that might have been affected to explain and apologise."®

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