Admit it, at some point in time you’ve inadvertently sent an email to the wrong person, but what happens when it’s a company that you trust that sent the email to the wrong person… actually over 3,000 persons? That would be embarrassing.
What if that email contained an attachment with the company’s email list? That would be a bad thing — and that’s just what happened on Halloween 2007 to an employee at UtahSaves.org. That person was Lesley Scruggs, Financial Management Assistant, Utah State University Extension.
Ms. Scruggs immediately realized her mistake, and sent a "request to delete" email only minutes after the first message went out. It read:
Dear Utah Savers,
I apologize for the prior email. I believed I was sending it to our technical supporters for formatting and didn’t realize I was sending it to the savers. I apologize. It won’t happen again.
Unfortunately, the damage was already done. After scrubbing the data there were 3,345 unique email addresses sent to everyone on the list.
UtahSaves.org is "a statewide coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government groups helping individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, Utah Saves assists people who wish to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, afford a home, education, investments, or retirement in order to improve their standard of living and most important, gain peace of mind."
Ironically, UtahSaves.org is funded in part by IHC, an insurance company that recently donated a laptop with HR data (including Social Security Numbers) of over six-thousand employees to a local charity (click to read more about this). Could this be the start of a trend? Or are we just now seeing how little importance personal information is to these two companies?
To voice your complaint you can email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .