Google Expands Real Time Analytics Beta, Spills Hundreds Of E-mail Addresses In The Process

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If you’re waiting in the queue for Google’s Real Time Analytics Beta, we’ve got good news… and we’ve got bad news. The good news: Google has just let in another big round of participants, so odds aren’t too shabby that you’re in. The bad news: they mixed up their “To:” field and their “BCC:” field on the welcome e-mail.

We’re not going to post the list of addresses for obvious reasons — but all in all, I’m counting just shy of 500 addresses spilled. If you’re worried you’re in there somewhere, check your inbox for an e-mail titled “Welcome to the beta trial for Real-Time Analytics!”, then check the To: field for about 495 too many people.

It’s unclear if this is the entire list of folks finding their way into the Analytics Beta today, or if the e-mails were sent out in batches of around ~500 recipients each. If it’s the latter, hopefully this is the only one with the BCC slip-up.

Fortunately, the implications of mistakes like this usually aren’t too nasty. Everyone will get a few dozen e-mails as people jokingly reply-all with pictures of animals, a few tweets singing “Privacy Fail!” will go out, but everyone generally moves on pretty quickly. If you’ve applied to the beta and you’ve got an e-mail address you prefer to keep 100% private, though, you might consider switching it up.

You know, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a good ol’ fashion BCC fail. The last one I recall, actually, was our bad. As Mike put it at the time, “we can never make fun of anyone doing this again without pointing back to this post.

We’ve reached out to Google to try and pin down how many e-mail addresses could have found their way out. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

Update #1 - Google has apologized quickly. Good on them:

Hi,

We recently sent out an email welcoming you to real time analytics. Inadvertently, we put the email addresses in the To: field instead of the BCC: field. We want to sincerely apologize for this mistake and will make sure that this does not happen again. Thank you for your understanding.

On Behalf of the Google Real-Time Analytics Team.

Update #2 – Hah! The recipients of the e-mail have already formed a Facebook group they’ve dubbed “The Accidental brothers of Real-time Awesomeness

Update #3 - Google’s official comment on the matter:

“While sharing the news that we’re opening up the Real-Time beta to more users, our team unintentionally exposed the email addresses of these users to the others who were being added. We’ve apologized to those users. Protecting the privacy of our users is hugely important to us, and we’re taking precautions to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”