Social media management company Hootsuite has managed a social faux pas by sending e-mails to users that included the names and e-mail addresses of other users.
The personal information was included in thousands of e-mails sent yesterday warning users that the free 60-day Hootsuite Pro trial was about to expire. Many of the e-mails contained the e-mail addresses of other users in the "To" field.
Affected Hootsuite users took to Twitter to voice their displeasure:
Thank you @hootsuite for sending me 1624 emails and sharing my email address in the clear with 971+ people I don't know.— PBCliberal (@PBCliberal) November 11, 2012
I can only imagine @hootsuite sent out my name and email links to the same people i see in the "TO:" field of this email. WTF guys?— Kevin Vanderbeken (@kevdesign) November 11, 2012
Hootsuite responded to the individual tweets with an apology and an assurance that the issue had been resolved. An accompanying note to users (see below) blamed the flub on an "integration of Seesmic accounts with [its] existing HootSuite user accounts" and offered affected users a "product credit."
Today, November 10th at approximately 4 AM PST, HootSuite experienced a technical issue related to our integration of Seesmic accounts with our existing HootSuite user accounts. The failing system resulted in email notifications intended for our new Seesmic users being sent out repeatedly and in some cases user email addresses were exposed in the message headers. The issue has since been contained but will likely continue to cause concern over the next few days as people who were away from their computers and email continue to discover the issue. The incident occurred to under 4000 emails.
At this time, we are requesting that recipients destroy the messages in order to help us contain the issue. Privacy is a paramount concern for HootSuite and this is in no way a reflection of the respect we have for our users and their privacy. For our customers and people who receive our regular marketing or product notifications, please be assured that your data is safe and is not directly connected to this failed system in any way. The HootSuite team and I, are extremely sorry that this took place and that we were not able to contain the issue sooner.
For users who were affected, please stay tuned for a product credit as a further sign of our utmost respect and desire to make things right.
~Ryan Holmes, CEO
Hootsuite bought its one-time rival Seesmic in September for an undisclosed price. As part of that acquisition, Hootsuite asked Seesmic business users to try HootSuite Pro for free trial period, after which they would be charged fees starting at $9.99 a month. The flub occurred as a result of migration of Seesmic users to the Hootsuite platform.
[Via The Next Web]