ESRB accidentally releases email addresses of Real ID complainants

In an ironic turn of events this evening, it appears that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board has revealed the entire list of email addresses belonging to people who appealed to the ESA's rating group over Blizzard's recently proposed and then retracted Real ID implementation. According to our World of Warcraft-focused sister site WoW.com, the ESRB issued a response letter to the nearly 1,000 folks who had emailed with complaints about Blizzard's decision -- unfortunately, it seems that rather than hide everyone's email addresses, someone hit "reply all."

We've dropped the letter itself beyond the break, which, as WoW.com points out, concludes with a statement espousing the ESRB's "Privacy Online" program. Whoops! All that said, mistakes will happen from time to time. Unlike Blizzard, however, the ESRB can't simply take this back.

"Thank you for contacting the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) regarding the policy recently announced by Blizzard Entertainment which would have required participants in its official forums to post comments using their real first and last names, and for expressing your concerns regarding potential privacy implications.

It is our understanding that Blizzard has provided an update announcing that it will not be implementing the above-referenced policy with respect to its forums, and users will not be required to post using their real names. You can read Blizzard's announcement regarding this most recent development at http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1&pageNo=1.

Separately, if you have questions regarding Blizzard's implementation of its Real ID option -- which by our understanding is unrelated to Blizzard's plans for its forums -- and/or the new capabilities this option offers, they will likely be answered by reviewing the information posted at http://www.battle.net/realid/.

ESRB, through its Privacy Online program, helps companies develop practices to safeguard users' personal information online while still providing a safe and enjoyable video game experience for all. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us with your concerns, and please feel free to direct any future inquiries you may have regarding online privacy to our attention.

Regards,

Entertainment Software Rating Board"

This article was originally published on Joystiq.