HRC’s email alert went a bit haywire earlier this week. Rex Wockner exposed the “embarrassing” glitch, which linked people’s email addresses with other people’s names, potentially leaking names to other parties. Hoping to restore the world’s faith in technology, HRC spokesman Trevor Thomas sent out a robotic statement:
HRC is one of many organizations that choose to include personalized contact information in email action alerts because it expedites the process of participation in an advocacy campaign. This software is designed to make it easier for activists to take action by placing the activist’s information on the email form.
When they help spread the word by clicking the ‘Tell a Friend’ option, an individual’s contact information is protected by the system. When a person chooses to forward the email, then another user is receiving the original activists personalized action. Currently, that webform contains a warning that says “if you are not [name of original activist], click here.”
To better protect those who choose to forward via their internet service after the individual takes action, the system is setup to link to a clean form. Because there are those who forward our emails without using the ‘Tell a Friend’ option, HRC will be including the following disclaimer on all future actions: ‘This link is specific to you, so please take action on this campaign before you forward to your friends.’
HRC will continue to look for ways to improve its systems and remain an effective advocate on Capitol Hill.
We’ll sleep well tonight…