Friday, 8 May 2009

Psst! Wanna buy some data?

Hey, wanna buy the email addresses of all the firms and individuals who've signed up with Bristol City Council with an interest in providing services to their Cycling City Project? Think of the 'targeted marketing' opportunites that could open up. Shall we say half a ton for 350 addies?

How did I get my hands on all those email addies? Well, to be honest and transparent about it, guv, the Council's Cycling City team handed the whole lot out to each and every person on the list, all 350 of them, by not blind copying! Effing unbelievable innit? Commercially confidential information just copied willy-nilly to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Look, let's call it a pony for the lot. Can't say fairer than that guv.

You've already been offered the list for a score? OK, make it a tenner. I'm robbing myself but I've gotta admit it's a buyers market when half the shysters and scammers in the west have already got their hands on it. There you go, guv, but better get your spam out before the poor sods have had time to change their email addresses.


TonyD said...

I have heard that several of the people who have had their email kindly distributed across the internet by the City Council have already received spam as a result.

Unbelievable. As for the damage to the credibility of Bristol City Council....would you give your email to these guys?

Jon Rogers said...

Not good.

The officer who made the mistake has apologised, and the mistake has been reported to the City Council Data Protection officer and the City Clerk.

I can only add my sincere apologies for such a slip. I have seen evidence of one named "spammer" who has used the list already and they have made the same mistake, using "reply to all".


Chris Hutt said...

Thanks for that Jon. At least you've been quick to recognise the error and apologise to those affected which is to your credit.

I suspect that there are lots of enthusiastic but inexperienced people who've recently been recruited to Cycling City. Perhaps they need to be balanced by some old hands who are more aware of the many pitfalls?

I must correct my blog post, in which I said that the email addresses were those who had registered an interest in providing services to the Cycling City Project. In fact the list was of all those who've signed up with the Council's e-procurement system which has a much wider application than just Cycling City.

thebristolblogger said...

Which is commercially confidential information?

Also, you tend to sign up on the basis that your information will not be shared unless they tell you first and you agree.

Once again council shows why it shouldn't be responsible for 11p, let alone £11M.

I'd also be interested to hear how commercially confidential information found its way out of procurement and into the hands of amateurs seemingly so easily.

Where else is this information going?