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Financial Institution doesn't give a damn about security holes

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posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 08:25 AM
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Our story begins here:

Consumerist

and here:

The Register

Up until yesterday, I was a member of Ameriprise's 600 member consumer advisory panel, which is a private forum administered by Communispace. Since most of the forum members are Ameriprise clients, I posted a link to the above article, and to the Register article it references.

That prompted the following e-mail from my "Financial Connection Facilitator":


"Hi Brendan,

This morning we noticed that you posted a discussion titled “Ameriprise Web Site Riddled with Security Vulnerabilities for at Least Five Months!?”

The main purpose of this community is to serve as “consumer consultants’ by sharing your perspectives and opinions with us and each other on your finances. While we encourage you to discuss whatever topics are important to you, we just ask that you keep in mind that the 600 of you represent a diverse group, and we are interested in hearing all perspectives on a given topic – even the unpopular ones.

That said, we are uncomfortable with the discussion you started. As per our member agreement, we reserve the right to remove any content from the Web Site for any reason or no reason and have removed your discussion.

Please continue to be considerate of all opinions, and recognize that not everyone will necessarily share your perspective.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email.

We appreciate your understanding and assistance.

Best,
Sandra"


To which I replied:


"Wow, Sandra.


So much for a free and open exchange of ideas.


You wrote:


>>'While we encourage you to discuss whatever topics are important to you,'

No, clearly you do not.

>>'we just ask that you keep in mind that the 600 of you represent a diverse group, and we are interested in hearing all perspectives on a given topic – even the unpopular ones.'

Again, by your actions today, you have demonstrated that you clearly do not wish for unpopular opinions to be brought to light. And what is crap about it being a diverse group? What does our diversity have to do with it? Are you saying that we are such a diverse group that some members will not be interested in knowing that Ameriprise jeopardized their sensitive financial data?


>>'That said, we are uncomfortable with the discussion you started. As per our member agreement, we reserve the right to remove any content from the Web Site for any reason or no reason and have removed your discussion.

Please continue to be considerate of all opinions, and recognize that not everyone will necessarily share your perspective.'

Now you're just being condescending and insulting, Sandra.

Your wording implies that I was somehow out of line or off on some weird tangent. Name just one member out the 600 in our little group who would not share my perspective and completely agree with me that Ameriprise has done wrong. The company was clearly asleep at the wheel with regards to the security of customer information, spent five months ignoring a security expert who tried repeatedly to bring the problem to their attention, and then had the nerve claim that the problem was no big deal.

Instead of pretending that I have said of done something inappropriate, and instead of pretending that the other members of our community would somehow be offended or not appreciate knowing about this very valid security concern, why don't you just be honest: Ameriprise signs your paycheck, so you are going to suppress any discussion of this outrageous failing on the part of Ameriprise.


Sincerely,

Brendan"


Which caused Sandra to delete my account without even having the courtesy to inform me that she was doing so.

Way to go Ameriprise and Communispace!

So I fired off the following:


Again, Sandra, Wow.

Just wow.

It's all well and good that you've chosen to kick me out of your little community for daring to speak honestly to you and to the members of that community. That's fine. But how is it that you would do such a thing without even bothering to inform me of this? Just as a matter of professionalism and common courtesy, one would think that you would have the decency to at least tell me "You're outta here."

To have me learn this when I attempt to log in and discover that my login details no-longer work is just pathetic. No grown adult with an ounce of backbone behaves this way, Sandra.

I guess it's kind of a moot point, because I was going to log in and post a farewell message, mainly so Joel would have my contact info, because I've enjoyed talking to him on the message board. I guess you're breathing a sigh of relief and patting yourself on the back, thinking you were very wise to delete my membership before that could happen, now aren't you? God forbid I should have had a chance to say goodbye and potentially make any members of your diverse community uncomfortable.

Sorry I was too real for you and your client.

Sincerely,

Brendan




 
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