A New York business leader has taken a high profile step toward setting a simple standard for companies that find themselves in the unenviable position of having breached their customers’ privacy: Admit it.
That’s what Sean Strub, Publisher of POZ magazine, a glossy news and health publication targeted towards people living with HIV/AIDS did last week when he learned that one of the company’s sister operations, Community Prescription Service, CPS, had sent a direct mail campaign to the POZ “do not exchange” subscriber list.
In a statement mailed to all POZ subscribers, Strub wrote “A staff decision was made that, in light of the close relationship between POZ and CPS, to allow CPS to send a mailing to the POZ list, including the “do not exchange” names … we clearly did not have sufficient safeguards in place to prevent this type of mistake. Please accept this letter as our formal and sincere apology. Mistakes like this are embarrassing to us and potentially harmful to individuals who subscribe to POZ.”
The publication then made $1000.00 contribution to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, San Diego, CA.