Be Careful With Your BCCs

May 16, 2016 2:13 PM
A few weeks ago I got this generic, unsolicited email from a girl called Nina working for an internet advertising company called Clickadu...



Hey there!
My name is Nina, I am from Clickadu Ad Network.  We are selling popunders on CPM basis, was wondering if you might be interested.
Please let me know if you are in any way interested. 

In case you don't know what popunders are, they're really annoying adverts that open up in new windows.  They usually advertise dodgy products like porn sites, virus removal and get rich quick schemes.  They're intrusive and annoying, so I told Nina this in a reply....



No thanks, I hate popunders.  They're unethical and annoying.  It's advertising like this that is driving people to use ad blocker and therefore damaging the digital advertising industry as a whole.

Popunders never advertise respected brands, they're never for Prada or Audi, it's always Clean Your Mac or get rich quick schemes, this is very telling.  There's no longterm money or advantages to popunders.


So, I thought that was the last I'd hear from her but and I assumed this was a one time email as I shouldn't have been added to any lists without my explicit permission.  It turns out that wasn't the case.  Without permission Nina added me to a follow-up email list of about 60 people.

How do I know it was 60 people?  Because in her next email a few weeks later she pasted all 60 email addresses into the 'to' field of the email rather than adding them as hidden addresses in the 'bcc' field.

This was an opportunity to good to miss and I straight away clicked 'reply to all' and sent my same reply, slating the validity of Clickadu's unethical service to the whole list and of course exposing the fact that Nina at the company had been careless with people's personal contact details.  I think sent the following email to Nina...



Oooops, I think I sent that last email to all 61 people you copied in!

A few minutes later I got another email from Nina with the subject "Mail System Error," it said....



Hey guys!

Getting emails from you, that some emails from the data base were not in the BBC. 

That was a mailing system error, sorry if that caused you inconviniences. 

But the subject still stands, if you have any questions regarding our popunders feel free to get back to me. 



Haha! Brilliant.

Maybe you should have removed me from the list after our last contact.

I'll send a follow up email to the list again next week and see how everyone else is getting on.

Annoyingly as a result of Clickadu's slack handling of personal data and there unauthorised collection and use of email addresses, I'm now getting SPAM through from other people who were on that list who have now harvested my email address.


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