In troubling news, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) leaks the information of 2,025 journalists, content creators, analysts and things of the like.
The list, which exists so companies can target specific members of the media for invites, parties or whatever else they might deem necessary to make them aware of their plans, was apparently accessible to anyone by clicking a simple button on the website. This was first discovered and reported by Sophia Narwitz, who took this information to the ESA prior to posting a video mentioning it.
Since then the ESA has taken the list down and sent the following message ‘apologizing’ for the rather troubling oversight.
Registered E3 Journalist –
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was made aware yesterday of a website vulnerability on the exhibitor portal section of the E3 website. Unfortunately, a vulnerability was exploited and that list became public. We regret this happened and are sorry.
We provide ESA members and exhibitors a media list on a password-protected exhibitor site so they can invite you to E3 press events, connect with you for interviews, and let you know what they are showcasing. For more than 20 years there has never been an issue. When we found out, we took down the E3 exhibitor portal and ensured the media list was no longer available on the E3 website.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and have already taken steps to ensure this will not happen again.
Thank you –
Entertainment Software Association
While there are some other troubling details that may or may not be true, like I’ve seen reports that the ESA was aware of this for over a month and the e-mail makes the leak out to be less negligent than it actually was, there is a lot of questions regarding how this will impact E3 going forward. Given many members of the media now have a reason to distrust the ESA, it could be the final nail that leads to E3 going away in a year or so.