ESRB issues apology for mass email blunder

Following last night's email gaffe, the ESRB has issued a statement today apologizing to the nearly 1,000 folks whose emails were unwittingly exposed. The software ratings board calls its "reply all" message, which revealed Real ID complainants' email addresses, a mistake made during an "effort to respond quickly to the thousands of gamers who wrote to the ESRB." Apparently, (and thankfully), the email did not include the addresses of all those who had contacted the organization, as the aplogy claims that only a "limited" portion of email recipients were affected.

Further, the ESRB statement places fault for the issue on "one of our employees" before promising to do "everything we can to ensure it will not happen again in the future." We've placed both the ESRB's public statement and its email to those affected just after the break.

ESRB public statement:
"In our effort to respond quickly to the thousands of gamers who wrote to the ESRB, we inadvertently revealed a limited number of recipients' e-mail addresses in our reply. This was both unfortunate and regrettable, and for that we sincerely apologize to all those who were affected. They deserve to trust that their information will be handled with the same confidentiality, care and respect that we require of companies that display our Privacy Online seal. We take this issue seriously and are doing everything we can to ensure it does not happen again in the future." - Eliot Mizrachi, ESRB

E-mail response to those affected:
"Yesterday we sent an e-mail to a number of consumers who wrote to us in recent days expressing their concern with respect to Blizzard's Real ID program. Given the large number of messages we received, we decided to respond with a mass e-mail so those who'd written us would receive our response as quickly as possible - rather than responding to each message individually, as is our usual practice.

"Through an unfortunate error by one of our employees, some recipients were able to see the e-mail addresses of others who wrote on the same issue. Needless to say, it was never our intention to reveal this information and for that we are genuinely sorry. Those who write to ESRB to express their views expect and deserve to have their contact and personal information protected. In this case, we failed to do so and are doing everything we can to ensure it will not happen again in the future.

"The fact that our message addressed individuals' concerns with respect to their privacy underscores how truly disappointing a mistake this was on our part. We work with companies to ensure they are handling people's private information with confidentiality, care and respect. It is only right that we set a good example and do no less ourselves.

"We sincerely apologize to those who were affected by this error and appreciate their understanding.

"Sincerely,

Entertainment Software Rating Board"

This article was originally published on Joystiq.