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Has Carbonite had a Privacy Breach?

Has Carbonite had a Privacy Breach?

Yesterday Richi Jennings posted an interesting article over at ComputerWorld outlining what appears to be a problem with Carbonite users getting spammed.


In the article Mr. Jennings started getting spam email to the email address he used exclusively with Carbonite which lead him to believe either “Carbonite has either sold my personal details, or has had a security breach.” After contacting Carbonite Mr. Jennings was told by the Carbonite PR department that

Carbonite has discovered an advertiser misappropriated our e-mail list during the process of one of our e-mail marketing campaigns. When Carbonite launches an e-mail marketing campaign, it provides a suppression list to e-mail advertisers so that Carbonite customers do not receive promotion emails from Carbonite (since they’re already customers) and importantly, so that people who have opted out of receiving emails from Carbonite do not receive future email from us. This list was mishandled by an advertiser and we have taken immediate remedial efforts. As an online backup company, the security and privacy of our customer data is our top priority. We take all matters related to privacy very seriously. The matter will be addressed privately with the involved third parties and we will ensure that all customer e-mail addresses are permanently removed from their database.

This appears to be a breach of their own Privacy policy which states:

Carbonite will not sell your personal information to third parties. … Carbonite will not disclose your personal information…to third parties unless disclosure is necessary to comply with law.

While I can understand that many companies use third party email service providers, but I have to question why Carbonite did not clean up their email list to begin with in house?

Mr. Jennings article appears to have even caught the attention of the CEO of Carbonite, David Friend. He made a post on the official Carbonite blog. While that post addresses the situation I find it amazing that he tries to downplay the seriousness of this situation with this statement:

Fortunately, the only thing that happened here was that this vendor spammed our customers. They never had anything more than email addresses, so customers’ personal information was not compromised in any way and this in no way affects their backups.

They ONLY spammed you! Can you believe that? Apparently he does not have a clue about how many people are taken in by spam every day to give up more of their personal details. This kind of response is not appropriate from a CEO. What if the the only spam was a phishing email to gain access to all of the Carbonite user account info? Would Mr. Friend be a little more concerned then that all they did was spam Carbonite users?

What do you think of Mr. Friends response to the email spam? Do you still trust Carbonite with your data if you are a user? Will you trust them with your data if you are not a customer?

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One response to “Has Carbonite had a Privacy Breach?”

  1. […] like this hurt a company and Carbonite should really know better since they have had email address leaks in the past. Now I have to deal with more spam thanks to […]

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