Internet

Glitch sends Yahoo Calendar data astray

Account holders battle a vexing calendar problem--and a potentially serious privacy violation--in which the portal is sending their calendar reminders to the wrong people.

Yahoo account holders are battling a vexing calendar problem--and a potentially serious privacy violation--in which the portal is sending their calendar reminders to the wrong people.

"I received email reminders from the calendars of four other Yahoo users," one puzzled Yahoo Calendar user wrote in an email to CNET News.com. "This information included reminders of dental appointments, meetings and lunch appointments. This is a serious compromise of users' privacy!

"I store rather private information about bill payment due dates/amounts and other personal information in my calendar and am concerned that other people are receiving reminders from my calendar as well."

Yahoo acknowledged that a technical gaffe created the privacy fiasco over the weekend, sending electronic reminders of events marked in its calendar service to the wrong people.

"Yahoo Calendar experienced a technical problem that caused a very small number of reminders to be redirected," Thad White, producer of Yahoo Calendar, said in an interview. "We take privacy very seriously. We do everything in our power to comply with our privacy policy. We implemented measures to make sure this never happens again."

But for at least some Yahoo calendar users, the problem continues. One person complained as late as this morning that he was still receiving the wrong calendar reminders.

"The Yahoo user who emailed me told me that when he checked his reminder settings, it was actually set to send them to my email address," reported the Yahoo customer. "Not only that, but I received another misdirected reminder this morning from the calendar within the same group having the problem the other day."

White estimated that less than one-tenth of 1 percent of Yahoo Calendar users were affected. He declined to say how many people use the service.

The calendar glitch comes on the heels of a Yahoo Mail email imbroglio in which a few hundred new sign-ups were piled into two accounts.

White stressed that the calendar glitch did not compromise passwords and said the account holders' email addresses were only distributed if their usernames and email addresses were the same.