Google Blogoscoped has an entry that begins:
According to David Dalka, Google committed a privacy breach and sent him and others the statistics for someone else’s Google Local Business center.
For his part, Dalka writes:
This is the latest in a series of controversies regarding Google Local Business Results. If the Google Local Business Results were sent to many people, this could likely be as serious as the AOL data breach.
This all raises alot (sic) of fascinating questions with immense magnitude regarding Google’s trust.
1) Why are November, 2009 results being mailed on January 6th, 2010 in the first place? Seems kinda late.
2) Why did I randomly receive Boscos Local Business Listing view report? Why are others apparently receiving random Local Business Center reports that aren’t theirs?
3) What privacy issues does this incident raise?
4) Will Google discontinue the Local Business Results box altogether due to the issues with quality of this data?
Mike Blumenthal also covers the strange case of people receiving emails with others’ local business results, here. James Ward, a commenter on Mike’s blog, writes:
Yes, I received stats for a business I have no connection with. It was followed up two hours later by an apology email from Google that explained:
“We recently sent you a version of your monthly Local Business Centre newsletter that may have contained some incorrect business listing statistics — our apologies. Shortly after sending out the email, we realized that there was a human error when putting together the content. We’re sorry about this mistake. Here you’ll find the updated, accurate statistics for your business.”