Originally Posted by rando
It is really a question of internet etiquette. I'm no expert (I didn't even know about mandatory smilies) but there is a difference in me revealing my email address to who (whom) I choose and having a third party, corporate or private, send out my email address. I suppose it would be like the difference between me writing my phone number on the bathroom wall and someone else writing my number on the bathroom wall. Griffonwing would probably want to know how many bathroom walls.
I did mention that Astak sent me an apology, which I really appreciate. It is encouraging to know that a company I do business with is responsible and responsive enough to be interested in customer satisfaction and respects my privacy. I voluntarily provided them with my email address with the usual provisos of "we will not reveal or sell your email address to any third party". However, this is what happened to me and 213 others. I have gladly accepted Astak's apology and believe them when they say it won't happen again. My original post suggested that others please complain also, so that it would not happen again. If only I had known about mandatory smilies.
Of course it was a mistake and it is bad etiquette to spread email addresses against people's wishes. But it was not equivalent to giving the email addresses to spammers since the risks for that happening should be similar to the risk that happening when using the address at all.