Andy Rubin describes the taste of crow after Essential spills customer data


Launching a product and company from scratch is hard, as fresh-faced entrepreneurs and Kickstarter successes often learn to their chagrin. And it turns out even heavy hitters like Andy Rubin and his mobile startup Essential have unpleasant lessons to learn — in this case, about how even a small detail like a mailing list configuration can put your entire company at risk.

The error appeared earlier this week as some customers were asked to send a photo ID to Essential to complete their orders. When they did, that information was inexplicably forwarded to the whole list of customers, about 70 of them, who had been asked to do so in the first place.

So there was effectively a nice reply-all chain where instead of saying “unsubscribe” people were attaching photos of their…

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