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Virgin Media Email Bcc Mistake Bombards Customers With 1000s Of Unwanted Messages

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Virgin Media made a monumental balls-up on Wednesday when a rookie mistake meant 135,000 people were bombarded with hundreds of unwanted emails.

The problem was caused by one of the company's suppliers mistakenly sending out an email, which if it was replied to was sent to all the other people in the group.

Virgin Media insisted only a "small proportion" of its customers were affected and have apologised profusely.

Customers reacted angrily to the data breach, complaining it meant that their email address was visible for thousands to see.

Liz French said: "As a leading technology provider, I find it indefensible that Virgin can allow an error on this scale to occur.

"Not only did it inconvenience many thousands of people and compromise their online security, it may well have cost small businesses both money and customers. At no point did Virgin get in contact with those affected or issue an apology. I hope the Data Commissioner looks into this very seriously."

A Virgin Media spokeswoman confirmed the email address had been disabled.

She said: "A small proportion of our customers have received an email from one of our suppliers which, if they reply-all, it is sent to a wider group. We're investigating exactly what has happened and, in the meantime, advise people not to respond to this email. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said it was a Bcc error. A Virgin spokesman said: "It’s important to be clear a list of email addresses was not exposed. It is NOT a bcc error. Only if you received the email and then replied-to-all would your individual email – and only yours – be sent to a wider group.".

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