Friday, March 11, 2011

Is Tornelo Breaking the Law?

This afternoon, while in the midst of one of the biggest quakes to hit Tokyo, I received this strange unsolicited email.

Welcome to Australian Chess Ratings Tornelo!

Tornelo is friendly, web-based tournament management and ratings software.

We have created your free Australian Chess Ratings Tornelo account. With an account you can:
* Enter a tournament
* Update your player profile
* Use the Electronic Scoresheet during tournaments (through your smart phone)
* View ratings, player profiles, pairings, results and games
* Club Admins can also promote tournaments online, collect entries, submit for ratings and display live results and games

To log-in to Tornelo please use the following details:

Email: ********
Temporary Password: ***********

Please update your password to something you will remember when you first log-in. If you forget your password you will need access to your email to reset it.

Have fun using Tornelo and thanks for being part of our community.

- The Tornelo Pixie

PS. We love feedback and we are hungry to improve! Let your imagination run wild with possibilities - we're eager to hear ideas from players and organisers about new features that Tornelo could use.

Well, Tornelo Pixie, I'm sure you love feedback. Here it is: you may have just broken the law. The Anti-Spam Laws.

I have never heard of Tornelo. I never signed up to them. So how they acquired my email address is beyond me. Hec, they've even created a user ID and a password then sent those in the email! Genius.

I'll be reporting you.

UPDATE (11 Mar, 8:59PM): Apparently, I subscribed to a Robert Jamieson enewsletter that is put out by Chess Kids. I'm confident that I didn't. Why in the world would I subscribe to an enewsletter for beginners?

But suppose I did. Let's take a look at their subscription page. Nope, no privacy provisions there. No fine print about being signed up to every affiliated company of the Chess Group, whoever they are.

I just searched my inbox and it looks like I've got another unexplained subscription. This time it's for "On The Move", apparently from the same mob. Nope, didn't subscribe to that one either. I can't even find the subscription page. That's because there isn't one!

I think I've got somebody by the balls.


Anonymous said...

Well said! I agree with you and will be reporting too

Anonymous said...

You applied for the Robert Jamieson contributions to the Chess Kids newsletter; and you wanted it delivered by e-mail.
And you ticked the box on privacy provisons that said your image and e-mail address are fair game to by used the Chess Group companies and their supplies.
And they did that.
There can be no surprise on your part I believe.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

I did? Yeah right!


Anonymous said...

I'm interested that you received it as well, TCG. Now that's audacious...

Well, how did I get to receive the same email from Tornelo today? I recently entered the Ballarat Begonia Open but I entered by sending a form and cheque to the Ballarat Chess Club, not via the Tornelo website, as is also possible.
I'm not impressed either by this turn of events especially as it seems that the Tornelo website, (which will be reporting results and pairings during the tournament) is no longer accessible (as of tonight at least - when I last checked) unless you activate your account. Apart from the fact that I believe that the information should be freely accessible on the site and players and interested parties shouldn't be obliged to activate accounts we didn't ask for, I'm not prepared to agree to the lengthy terms and conditions so won't be activating my account.

Jean Watson

Anonymous said...

The privacy policy is not difficult to find

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that a once prestigious tournament like the Ballarat Begonia has allowed itself to be held hostage by this sort of organisation...

Anonymous said...


All the pairings information and results are freely available for anyone. The only feature you need an account for seems to be to input your game.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous! I'm really relieved to hear that the problem is limited to me and that non-registered visitors could access the pairings and results over the weekend.

People probably didn't know what I was talking about ... but since the night before the tournament all links I tried for the Tornelo site reset to a log-in page with terms and conditions. That is until I deleted my cookies an hour or two ago on advice from Bill G.)

Jean said...

So you reproduce their email in its entirety (giving them unecessary publicity), yet you complain about the fact they sent you an unsolicited email?

Hmmmm, Closet Grandmaster - please make up your mind.

Anonymous said...

Tornelo's pairings are clearly inferior to SwissPerfect's.


Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what this tornelo website is? I haven't played in a tournament since the early 1980s and they have my old chess rating details!!