The next time you send a confidential (or otherwise) mail, you may want to check who you are sending it to, instead of confidently clicking ‘send.’ While we’ve all made our fair shares of marking the wrong person in an email, an electric skateboard appears to have done more than something which just had embarrassment as the consequences. The company accidentally sent a customer the private data of thousands of other customers, including full names, email addresses, and home addresses in what appeared to be an email copy-paste mess up. The error occurred when a customer reached out to Onewheel, the electric skateboard company’s online support asking for the link to register his new board for warranty purposes. But instead of sending him the link to the registration form, a support representative replied with a link to a spreadsheet containing responses to that registration form, which included hundreds of customers’ private data, reports Vice’s Motherboard.
The Google Spreadsheet was set to public but shared in the method that while anyone with the link could see it, they could not modify the data within it. The spreadsheet had more than 50,000 entries dated from 2014 until last week 2021, reports Vice. Vice confirmed that this information was legitimate by contacting a handful of customers included in it, some of wh confirmed that they are an Onewheel customer, and also the date they registered the board with the online form.
Google Documents and Spreadsheets are set to private by default, and users need to manually change that setting to allow for anyone with the link to see them. The customer who received the spreadsheet immediately alerted Onewheel on realizing the accident. Onewheel’s director of customer services also admitted to the mistake in a follow-up email to the customer, saying the link “has been removed” and added that “all personal data is stored internally and is not accessible to outside sources,” reported Vice.
Email mess-ups aren’t that uncommon: In February, a woman forgot to change the template picture in her resume before sending the application and realized her mistake only after hitting the send button. While in the process of applying for job openings, she chose a CV template but while she paid attention to the written content, she forgot to change one detail — the picture.