Keeping my email address private


Last year, in response to the rising costs of owning property, I joined the board of my homeowner’s association where I live.  Now instead of being randomly hit with increases in my fees, I get a little bit of notice before everyone else is also hit with the same fees.  At least I know where my dues are going.

Anyhow, being an email expert, I make suggestions from time to time about how to communicate with other homeowners in the complex.  Unfortunately, not everyone follows them.

I created a distribution group (also known as a distribution list, or DL) through Google Groups and put everyone on the board’s email address on there.  This way, if any one particular board member ever wants to contact the rest of us on the board, instead of emailing each one of us directly they can email the DL instead.  But also, if a disgruntled home owner ever wants to contact the board, they can use the DL rather than contacting the rest of our email addresses.

This is a way for me to preserve the privacy of my email address.  Not that it matters that much, but I don’t care to give out my email address to just anyone.  I appreciate it even less if someone else did it.  That’s why I got a little dismayed when the president of the board, an elderly lady who does a good job doing the thankless job of running the board, recently emailed everyone in the complex about the upcoming Annual Meeting for everyone in the complex.  All of the condo owners were bcc’ed in the message.  All of the board members were cc’ed.  This means that everyone in the complex now (potentially) knows my email address.

<Sigh> What am I going to do?  It’s too late now and I don’t foresee any likely problems but I still don’t like it.  Anyhow, this topic of discussion came up at the most recent board meeting, and two of the other members told the president that they didn’t like how their email addresses were cc’ed in the email blast whereas everyone else was bcc’ed.

The president was apologetic but she didn’t think – at the time – that it was a big deal (she was later corrected and apologized but I’m sure we can all see her point of view).  She did not give out any personally identifiable information that could lead back to us personally like a home address or phone number, she only gave out our email addresses.  After all, giving away an email address can’t possibly lead to a geolocation back to any of us individually.  Therefore, there wasn’t any harm in doing that.

I then said “Tell that to bin Laden.”

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You may have noticed I’ve referenced Osama bin Laden three times now in the past month since he was killed.  I’ve been doing this on purpose to see if it results in any more traffic coming to this blog.  It hasn’t.

Comments (2)

  1. AD says:

    Email addresses aren't intended to be private, if you care so much about having it not disclosed to a certain group of people you should use a different address to contain what ever downsides you see.

  2. You surely don't expect for other folks to communicate on a different leve, other than they are used to.

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