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News and Comment April 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

3 April (Part 1) - What’s the point?

EgressAfter the old GPO gave me a job in 1962 they sent me on a six month training course to learn how telephone exchanges worked and something of the culture of the Post Office. One thing drummed into me was that divulging the address of any customer who was not listed in the phone directory was an offence meriting dismissal. In those days being ‘ex-directory’ was not especially common unlike now when it appears to be the norm.

It is a lesson that I have observed ever since and I never pass on phone numbers or email addresses without the owner’s permission. Passing on one’s email address to all and sundry is a sure way of generating spam messages as most people know all too well on top of which a third party may sell on personal data or be hacked.

I have always taken suitable precautions and as a result get no spam email at all. Occasionally someone abuses the address shown at the bottom of this page but it is a throw-away address that is easily changed. When dealing with companies I create an email address specific to that company so if I do get spam email I can tell who has leaked it. Most recently Saga Insurance and Adobe software; rubbish email came from both so I simply cancelled the addresses and set up new ones.

I have a unique email address for Bexley Council too and on the rare occasions I correspond with them they naturally reply using it.

But not yesterday.

EgressThey have passed on personal data to a third party without my permission. To read the email I have to confirm that data with some mysterious third party. Why does Bexley Council think a simple email needs wrapping up in some security software? And it is not even secure is it?

All that is needed to access the message is my Reply email address which would be obvious to anyone who intercepted the email shown on the right and a stupidly long alpha numeric code which is displayed for all to see.

Now I will never know what is in the message. Maybe it is an apology from the Council Leader for reporting me to the police for being critical of Councillors.

I know that there’s a couple of IT experts who read this blog; maybe they know what advantage there is in using Egress on what I am pretty sure will be a very short email containing no valuable data.


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