Another personal data slippage, by Panasonic

31 March 2011

Bitterwallet - PanasonicIt's always nice when retailers and suppliers introduce you to new friends, regardless of whether you ask them to. Yesterday, Panasonic tried to get 500 customers to know one another, by leaving their email addresses exposed in a mailshot.

Says avid Bitterwallet reader 'Late':

It looks like they were mailing customers in batches of 500; there would be a fair few batches since the one I received was only addresses kw- to le-.

I did indeed buy a Panasonic a while back - about 18 months ago. I bought it from Dixons online - I don't remember giving Panasonic my email address but I'm not going to say I definitely didn't.

This morning Panasonic realised their mistake and emailed recipients of the mailshot, this time remembering to use the Bcc field for their addresses:

"It has come to my attention that this morning you were sent an e-mail by our Customer Communications Centre in order to provide you with information relating to the forthcoming Digital Switch Over events in the UK. The sole purpose of this e-mail was to provide timely advice for any Panasonic products that you may own which may be affected by these events.

"Your details were taken from our database of customers who have contacted us with queries relating to applicable, tuner based products."

What's interesting is that Panasonic state the emails come from a very specific source - "customers who have contacted us with queries relating to applicable, tuner based products" - yet our reader doesn't recall doing so. Did Dixons Online pass on a database created at point of sale - and if so, presumably it was with the consent of the customers?

What do you think?

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