Consumerist reader chrismar was one of the Guitar Hero customers who requested a Wii replacement disc from Activision last month. On January 18th, the company sent out an email to its customers with an update on the disc replacement program. The problem is, they copied 859 other customers on the email. “As a result, my email address is in 859 unknown hands, and I have 859 email addresses I don’t want.”
The only way to really protect yourself from the dumbness of strangers is to never give them your personal email address—either create a “public” address that you use for all business correspondence, or create one-use accounts (e.g., “firstname.lastname@example.org”), that you forward to your real email account.
On the bright side, Chris, it’s unlikely that your new 859 friends are telemarketers or spammers, or that all of them will even notice the massive CC list. Which gives us an idea: quick, sell those other addresses before someone else does and the list loses value!
(Thanks to chrismar)