Archive | January 11, 2008 Breaches Users’ Privacy – UPDATED: And Apologizes

This is completely unrelated to Linux, but I’m so completely livid that I’ve had to post in outrage at the completely unprofessional website for everyone to read.

I signed up to this website a little while ago while looking for a good online wine journal/social website/forum.

Today, I received an email from them describing two new features that were added to the site. (These new features are unimportant.)

What caught my attention was the 498 email addresses of users in the To: line for everyone to see! And they used a Gmail address to boot!

Here’s what it looked like (click to see full size):

Logabottle Email Breaching User’s Privacy

I replied to them saying:

How about a new feature called “Respecting people’s privacy by not including everyone’s email address in the To: line for everyone to see!” That was extremely unprofessional and you’ve probably pissed off a lot of people, including me. What the hell’s wrong with you???

Their website even tells users that:

At we respect your privacy.

Your e-mail will only be used for correspondence between site administrators and yourself in the event of account problems, questions, and for our site newsletters, which typically have been sent out only every few months.

Your e-mail will not be given out to advertisers, affiliates, or other third parties.

Yeah, uh huh. Sure, you stupid f!#$%#$!! Other users of the website are third parties!

I am completely pissed off that my email address was made available for every user of the website that received that email. It’s unprofessional, if not illegal. I don’t care at all if it was done by mistake. There is no excuse.

I complained about it on their forums. I’ve complained to them by email. I’ve also notified all 498 users about it by email, urging them to abandon the site and complain.

What else can I do? Submit this post to Digg? Notify prominent technology blogs? Ask you to post about it on your own blog? I don’t know.

Thanks for reading my rant.

UPDATED: Logabottle issued an appreciated apology to me and to all users by email, in the comments below, and on my forum post on their website. The email read:

Dear Valued members,

We value the privacy of our members. We strive to keep messages to our users to a minimum and send them only when we feel that there is important and useful information to share with you.

Therefore we apologize for not only needing to contact you again so soon, but to also inform you of a recent error with our most recent communication to members.

Recently, we sent you an e-mail regarding new updates to our website, which we feel could enhance your experience. Unfortunately, we made an error in addressing this e-mail which allowed for the user e-mail addresses to be seen by all recipients of the e-mail.

We at do respect your privacy, and you may view our privacy policy here: This e-mail was sent only to members who have permitted us to contact them and was not sent to any third parties outside the community.

We have also been made aware that you may have been contacted by another user regarding this incident. While we understand that this user wanted to share his views with you about our recent error, we feel he has slightly exaggerated the issue. Furthermore, we keep your e-mail information private from other companies to prevent unsolicited mass/spam e-mails of this nature.

We must also ask you now to respect the privacy of your fellow members and refrain from replying by e-mail to the group. A forum topic has been opened regarding our mistake, and you are more than welcome to share your comments there:; or to contact us directly at

As always, you may also change your mailing list preferences in your logabottle profile, accessible from your logabottle home page.

In the past you have trusted us to ensure your privacy and we must now ask that you give us time to restore that trust.

Please accept our apologies,


Jon, Katie & Steve
~never forget a great bottle of wine~

What is in bold in the email above is what I did not agree with and my response can be read on their board.