Toronto FC season ticket-holders upset at data mixup in club email

·2 min read

TORONTO — Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has apologized to Toronto FC season ticket-holders for an email mixup that sent personal information to the wrong people.

MLSE attributed the mixup to a "system error."

Traditionally the MLS club reaches out to season ticket-holders in advance of the season kickoff to confirm the proper address to courier their ticket package, which usually comes with a TFC members' commemorative scarf.

"We look forward to continuing this long-standing tradition with you," the email said. "To ensure you successfully receive your scarf, please review your delivery information below. If this address is correct, no action is required."

But, in some cases, the information to be checked turned out to be somebody else's.

The mixup — and delay in acknowledging it — prompted concerns that other personal data might be compromised. MLSE said that is not the case.

"The information included was limited to the name, account number and mailing address of just one other member and was not distributed outside of that one person," MLSE said in a statement.

"The system error is currently under investigation, and steps are being taken to ensure this error does not occur again, but members were assured that the limited information shared does not in any way present a risk of unauthorized access to their account. MLSE takes the privacy and protection of data belonging to its members very seriously and apologizes for any inconvenience or concern this error may have caused."

The MLSE statement was posted on the Toronto FC Members Twitter account, some 3 1/2 hours after the original email was sent out.

"I'm a little concerned about the privacy and data issue but I'm also concerned about the poor response," said Stuart Green, a season ticket-holder since Day 1.

He got the initial email at 11:30 a.m. ET, and a subsequent email at 4 p.m. acknowledging the error and providing the right information to check.

Other season ticket-holders complained they were unable to get through by phone for an explanation.

"For those keeping track, Toronto FC have more off-season massive security breaches (1) than they do new player signings," tweeted the Vocal Majority, an independent group of TFC supporters.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2021

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press