Welcome to episode 68 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And if you have already subscribed to the newsletter, you will also receive an exclusive bonus tip of the week to help you further about this topic.
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In this episode of This Week Online Today, I talk about the following:
- the incident where West Ham United Football Club has revealed hundreds of fans’ email address
- the possible reasons that this has happened…twice
- what could it mean in terms of privacy and GDPR?
- understanding email etiquette
- even though it’s obvious, what to be aware of when sending mass emails
- The news reported by The Telegraph on the email breach
- Twitter thread of angry West Ham fans and other football fans
Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, where I will be talking about the biggest online news that had happened this week and why you should be aware of it. Don’t forget, if you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll also receive a bonus tip of the week of what you should do about it, and you’ll find that link in the show note. In the meantime, let’s get straight onto the show.
Yes, welcome to This Week Online Today episode 68, with a really interesting news to date I never thought I would see, which is regarding a football club and a security data breach kind of thing ever. Basically, what happened is West Ham United Football Club, for those who don’t know, it’s a Premier League club based in London, not in West London, ironically.
Anyway, that’s beside the point. West Ham United Football Club have been a bit naughty with a recent email that they have sent out. Basically, they have sent out a large email, a mass email to a group of people who have bought tickets for a League Cup game, which is like a week later.
Unfortunately, the email that is sent out, it kind of also revealed every single email address. Basically, it’s revealing all the email addresses when you type in, in the To section, or maybe in the CC section, you can see all the email addresses.
Well, that happened in this case as well. Apparently, according to a few different sources, one source said 200 emails were revealed to everyone in that email. Another source said 500 emails revealed. Who knows what the correct number, but that is what I’ve been given right now on Twitter and according a newspaper as well. I’ll put the link in the show note. You can read that yourself, article, and also a tweet by a West Ham fan who said the same thing.
It’s a bit of a big one, really, because that’s a big kind of reveal of email. It’s not like at work where you accidentally CC’d one extra person or whatever. This is something where you expect your email to be used in a private basis, not going to be shared with anyone else
It’s a bizarre one. I’m really interested to know, actually, before I get any further, if, for any crazy reason, a West Ham happened to be listening to the podcast, I appreciate it, but also, they’ve received the email, I would love to know what happened because there are some mixed news in terms of numbers, but it still happened. It definitely did happen.
West Ham’s email to away season ticket holders confirming their ticket for Wimbledon has cc’d in every single person who has got the ticket.
Massive data breach for a top PL club. Fine can be up to 4% of annual income. Hugely embarrassing for club.
— Jack Lebeau (@JackLebeau66) August 23, 2018
Apparently, West Ham apologised to their supporters, so we can say that it definitely happened. They apologised to the supporters, and they’re going to report the incident to the ICO, which is the Information Commissioner’s Office, the authority in UK that legislate the privacy, data privacy in the country. They want to report it, but then, apparently, I hear claims that they have not received anything, but then West Ham apparently said they’re going to report it on Friday, the 24th of August, which is the time of recording.
You know what? We’ll see what happen because in all the news about GDPR and everything about email signup and newsletters and being private with that, that have been a big, big thing in May of 2018 when it was official, GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. The idea is that it’s supposed to regulate it better. It’s supposed to be an updated version of the date privacy kind of thing, especially for the online world.
The incident of this might cause them a bit of trouble because there’s going to be a fine involved if found guilty and if it’s really severe. The fine is up to 4% of your annual revenue, which is quite a lot for a multi-million pound business like West Ham.
We’ll see what happen with that because I don’t have any information about what does the ICO think. I have no idea. I guess I have to wait to see until official, but it’s really, really interesting. Obviously, because it’s related to football, then you’re going to get all the West Ham supporters and other football supporters starting to come in with the jokes.
For example, “Oh, look at that, they are a shamble on the pitch and off the pitch.” Even West Ham supporter can say, “Oh, they can’t run a team, let alone know how to send an email.” You know the score. That’s always going to happen in this kind of industry.
Obviously, email etiquette is a thing, isn’t it? I mean, this is a thing that we’re all aware of, especially at work, about how to use email, how to use the CC section, which is carbon copy, and the BCC section, which is blind carbon copy. I guess a very, very brief overview, CC is like you’re going to notify someone, attach them to the email, they can see each other’s email address, whereas BCC is blind. You can’t see who have been BCC’d apart from the person who sent it, obviously. There’s always an etiquette about these things, when you should use it, when you should not use it, especially BCC.
For example, if you’re using BCC at work to send emails to different people, that looks a bit shady, I think. I mean, why would you do that? I’m not sure if that’s the best etiquette thing to do. The other thing, if you’re going to use it, for example, when you want to invite people to parties, and that’s also a bit weird because if you’re sending a mass email out to friends and you’re hiding your email address from each other, then, I don’t know, is something going on in the background? Who knows?
Then, obviously, stuff like if you’re going to use BCC at, let’s just say that you got a new job, I’d be very careful if you’re going to use that at your work. It’s just a shady thing to do. Don’t do that at all. Of course, when you’re using CC, sometime, it does make sense using that. If you’re communicating with someone, and then you just want to almost attach that person to the email, then you use CC.
At the end of the day, you’re not going to send a newsletter to your email list and display all the email addresses because that’s just crazy. Imagine if, for those who have hundreds, maybe thousands, tens of thousands of emails in a database and they send it out, imagine all these emails have been revealed. That pretty serious. Now, I know West Ham is apparently in hundreds, not in thousands, but it’s still pretty serious because especially now in the post-GDPR era.
West Ham sharing 500 odd email addresses. Tried to rectify it, and in doing so shared the addresses again.
Typical West Ham. Shambles.
— Nick Marsh (@MarshyBoy26) August 23, 2018
Interesting stuff, we’ll see what happened, but it’s quite obvious what I’m going to tell you about what you should do, what not to do. Obviously, don’t do that. Obviously, be careful about what emails you send, especially if it’s to a database kind of thing, but also even to individually, make sure you send an email to the right person.
Make sure you CC the right person and make sure all the information you said, double-check the subject line, the attachment, all these things as well, just be careful. You just got to be really careful about that, and just don’t get in trouble with the West Ham supporters as well because they’re not in the best of mood right now because of this situation, and, you know what, rightly so.
Like I said, if any West Ham supporters are listening to this, let me know how was it, what happened, what does the email involve because, this is the thing, I forgot to mention it earlier, it happened twice. Basically, they sent an email out, and they tried to rectify that by saying sorry, but then they sent it again to everyone with the email addresses revealed twice. Oh, come on now, you can’t just do that.
Again, if anybody have received the emails, I would love to know what it looked like, what it involved, and is it really as bad as it seemed because I don’t have access to the email. Let me know. I’ll put the link to my contact details in the show note, and let me know. I’ll be really curious to hear from you. Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll speak to you next time. Take care.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today. I really do appreciate it, and I hope you find it useful. If you have enjoyed the show, please do leave a review on iTunes. It would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that.
Thank you again. You rock. One more thing, I just want to remind you to do your thing because it matters, and I’ll see you next week.
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