Did the ESRB expose privacy-conscious users' email addresses?

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Well here's a story just dripping with irony. Last week, Blizzard Entertainment announced a policy that would require users to attach their real name to forum posts. They've since reversed that decision in the face of overwhelming concern voiced by their customers.

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During the hoopla, a certain segment of users wrote to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) with their concerns. The ESRB is the organization that rates games in order to help consumers judge whether or not a game is right for them (or their children). You know, that E, T or M rating you see on game boxes (indicating the game is for Everyone, Teens or Mature audiences, respectively). The ESRB also promotes privacy issues in gaming, particularly with regard to children's privacy.

So here's the irony part. According to WoW.com (and it's important to note this is one source so it might be a hoax), the ESRB responded to these users explaining that Blizzard had reversed its decision. All well and good, except that in doing so, whomever sent the email didn't hide the email addresses it was sending it to. So the "To" field exposed as many as 1,000 email addresses of the Blizzard users who are (presumably) most concerned about privacy! To quote the first commenter on the wow.com article: "/facepalm."

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