Yeah, there were no exposed Social Security or credit card numbers, but what could be more embarrassing than Googling yourself only to find your name and address on the Astroglide website - this after buying or requesting free samples of the sexual lubricant?
But that’s exactly what happened when, a few months ago, BioFilm, the California-based maker of the popular Astroglide (US$16 million in annual sales), accidentally exposed the names and addresses of more than 250,000 people - mostly through cached Google pages.
No risk of identity theft, granted, but if I were one of the victims, I would take little solace in this, especially if my siblings, friends, colleagues or - gasp! - parents decided they wanted to push buttons. And knowing my friends and family, buttons would be pushed, legendary jokes formed and the topic for Thanksgiving dinner already sealed and delivered.
Meanwhile, Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian is arguing this week that BioFilm should face Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general fines because the information exposed can be used to perpetrate phishing attacks or other money-making scams.
Apparently some of those who requested free samples of Astroglide were smart - they entered bogus or generic names so that BioFilm wouldn’t have any information on them. In today’s digital world, such an approach is probably a smart idea.
Here’s to hoping the victims at least enjoyed their free samples.
Not exactly the Google results you were expecting
By Dan Kaplan on Jul 23, 2007 1:15PM