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BT blasts hundreds of would-be customers' data into Infinity

Race to Stupidity

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As one of Britain's largest and most venerable technology firms, you might expect BT to have grasped the basics of email by now.

Alas, today brings news of another prang on the information superhighway for the Race to Infinity, BT's invitation to overlooked communities to plead with it to improve their local broadband infrastructure.

It yesterday emailed about 500 members of the public who volunteered to drum up interest in the wheeze in their area. BT is offering fibre optic upgrades to the five local exchanges where the highest proportion of premises show an interest.

But BT failed to use BCC to hide the would-be campaigners' email addresses and identities from each other - a questionable way to treat the data of 500 people you're effectively asking to act as pro bono technology sales reps.

When the firm noticed the cockup, about an hour later, it attempted to recall the message, again copying in the entire distribution list for those who didn't get it the first time.

The Reg's Race to Infinity correspondent Bill, who was on the list, said: "These people put themselves forward as tech-savvy! It's laughable."

It's a view that's hard to argue with in the added light of last week's Race to Infinity mailshot, when BT sent entrants an entirely fictitious list of frontrunners, prompting claims of London bias.

In fairness to BT, the direct blame for this latest embarrassment belongs to Porter Novelli, the public relations boutique running the Race to Infinity. But such are the perils of outsourcing. ®

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