, we learned that the ESRB
(Entertainment Software Rating Board) accidentally emailed the names of people who had complained about Blizzard's potential use of Real ID names on the official Blizzard forums. The ESRB has since sent out this apology:
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.
Entertainment Software Rating Board
I am glad that the ESRB apologized, and it is telling that they have also acknowledged how ridiculous the mistake was in light of the subject matter. Suffice it to say, good on the ESRB for not only apologizing but understanding the issues present over online privacy. Hopefully this whole debacle can be used as a teaching moment.