No one likes junk mail. It’s annoying, we agree. We never imagined one simple piece of mail could cause a family pain and trauma, but it did last week. An Illinois man received what at first appeared to be an ordinary mailing from OfficeMax, except under his name was the line “daughter killed in car crash”.
While it might seem like a shot in the dark, it wasn’t. The man and his family are still dealing with the aftermath of his 17-year-old daughter’s death in a car accident last year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
How did OfficeMax get ahold of this very personal information? The man says he’s not a regular customer and would never tell anyone from OfficeMax about the crash.
OfficeMax officials said in a statement that the mailing is the result of a list rented through a third-party provider and offered their apologies to the man and his family.
Recently, consumers and privacy groups have become more concerned over what personal data is available to the world.
Earlier this month a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office looked at how GPS devices track consumers’ private information. The report found that most companies delete personal information but they don’t always tell consumers how it’s used.
In November, millions of consumers’ private information was at risk after Target’s in-store credit and debit card systems were hacked. Just last week non-Target customers were left wondering how the company got their contact information after receiving emails about the hack.
While the OfficeMax mailing blunder isn’t the result of a hack, it still raises questions of how such personal information is available to companies.
OfficeMax has not revealed who they received the mailing list from.
Dad gets OfficeMax mail addressed ‘Daughter Killed in Car Crash’ [Los Angeles Times]