‘BCC, not CC’: privacy commission proves everyone makes mistakes

By The Mandarin

Monday February 20, 2017

The Victorian Privacy Commission has reportedly apologised for making one of the most common and basic mistakes when it comes to respecting privacy on the internet — copying a long list of emails into the CC box instead of the BCC box.

Several hundred email addresses, mostly work accounts for Victorian public servants, were visible to everyone who received a particular event invitation from the office of Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection David Watts, according to The Age, which got the story from radio station 3AW. Emergency Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley​ and Environment Protection Authority head Nial Finegan​ were apparently among those whose emails were exposed.

Privacy is becoming an increasingly tricky subject in the age of open data evangelism and with the rise of re-identification attacks that seek to demonstrate that foolproof anonymisation of personal information can’t truly be guaranteed — but the simplest mistakes still happen to the best of us.

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