All I Wanted was a Six Piece Chicken Nugget Meal, Instead I got Spam

by Daniel L
Believe it or not, McDonald’s had a database full of customer contact information that fell in the crosshairs of a couple of hackers back in December of last year.  The information that was compromised belonged to innocent individuals who wanted to fill their empty stomachs by signing up for promotional deals through McDonald’s websites.  These McDonald’s websites offer food deals and coupons, and whenever these promotions are available, customers are contacted electronically via e-mail.  McDonald’s had hired Arc Worldwide, a marketing company, as the ones responsible for these promotional e-mail messages.  However, Arc went ahead and appointed an unidentified e-mail company as the ones in charge of managing the database holding customer information which would be used to send out these promotions.  A few hackers, who were up to no good, penetrated the systems belonging to the unknown company, and in return were able to obtain customer data of those who were signed up for McDonald’s promotions.  These databases held limited customer information, along with names, phone numbers, and both electronic and physical addresses.  According to the McDonald’s spokeswoman, there is no approximate number of how many people were affected and there is no known date of when the database breach occurred.

You can never be too safe when dealing with personal information that is stored on databases belonging to the many websites that you visit on a day to day basis.  Anyone can be a target, as well as any company or organization.  Believe it or not, there are many people out there who actually enter all their information on these promotional sites expecting something in return.  It is the responsibility of the company to keep their customer’s happy (and their stomachs full, in this case), along with their information.  These individuals put their trust in the websites they are filling out, expecting there to be a safety net if anything were to go wrong.

Perez, Juan Carlos. (2010, Dec 11). Hackers Steal McDonald’s Customer Data. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/213345/hackers_steal_mcdonalds_customer_data.html

2 thoughts on “All I Wanted was a Six Piece Chicken Nugget Meal, Instead I got Spam”

  1. This is just another reason why large companies, especially one as large as McDonald’s, need to invest in their own databases and provide their own resources to keep such things in-house. Not only are they compromising the personal information of their customers, but that of their own reputation as well.

  2. I do not understand why McDonald’s doesn’t have its own database. Considering the size of this international franchise there is no reason for occurrences like this to happen. So many people nowadays sign up for promotions like this, from other companies and expect some privacy protection. But on the other hand, I wonder if McDonald’s will be compensating for their ill decisions. I would think that if the damages are big some type of adjustments will be given, at least for the consumers that were affected.

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