You can (not) post people’s personal information.

Gas stations can be rather uneventful places most of the time, so when a legend of anime walks into one, you can usually forgive the staff for getting worked up. But that’s still no excuse for them to forget the most important parts of their job, such as not revealing a customer’s personal information to the entire world.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened late in the evening of 5 June when the creator of Evangelion and recent string of tokusatsu reboots, Hideaki Anno, went to fill up his tank. The clerk working behind the counter spotted who he thought was Anno at the pump. His suspicions were apparently confirmed when the customer signed his credit card receipt as “Hideaki Anno.”

▼ Although he often works off-camera, Anno is a fairly recognizable guy

The clerk was so jazzed up by this encounter that he immediately took a photo of the receipt with Anno’s signature and posted it to Twitter along with the caption to the effect of “OMG! Hideaki Anno came to my part-time job!” The clerk also explained the make of the car he was driving.

This was especially problematic because in addition to the signature, the receipt also detailed how much Anno paid during the visit, the type of credit card he used, the last four digits of his card, the payment approval code, and even the number of T-points awarded for this purchase along with Anno’s total number of points – which, according to some people who saw the photo, is quite staggering.

T-points are a widely used reward point program supported by scores of businesses in Japan

Image: Wikipedia/Culture Convenience Club

Oddly enough, the one piece of information missing from the photo was the name of the gas station. However, people were able to deduce that it was the major chain Eneos because it was the only one that offers T-points.

Eneos issued a public apology for allowing a customer’s personal info to be leaked and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to protecting privacy with a promise that measures will be taken to prevent it from happening again.

After his initial post, the clerk followed up by insisting that he wasn’t lying or mistaken about meeting Anno. In response, many other Twitter users advised him to delete the post containing private information, regardless of who it belonged to. At about 2:00 p.m. on 6 June, the clerk appeared to have complied and not only deleted the tweet but his entire account.

In the aftermath, Twitter users continued to discuss the incident, and while pretty much everyone condemned it, many were sympathetic to the clerk.

“Working at a gas station is really hazardous. I’m not sure someone so careless should be there.”
“Anno’s got an impressive number of T-points.”
“This is why we need more personal information security education.”
“Honestly, I noticed the ridiculous number of T-points before I even saw the signature.”
“I understand feeling excited but you just can’t do that.”
“I know how the guy feels, but he really needs to quit after this.”
“I remember someone did that with Masaharu Fukuyama a while back.”
“Sounds like the clerk was Itsuki Takeuchi from Initial D.”
“It’s a funny story, but also really scary.”

Not everyone was sympathetic, though, and some comments went as far as calling the clerk a “baito terrorist” a term that predates the currently prevalent “sushi terrorism” term for disgusting or otherwise wrongful acts committed on publicly accessible items in a restaurant. However, “baito” is the Japanese word for “part-time” explaining that baito terrorism is committed by staff rather than customers.

But based on the evidence at hand, it does seem like the clerk was just a really big fan who was simply too excited to think things through properly. Unfortunately, these kinds of over-reactions still make it harder for high-profile people like Anno to do even basic things like get gas.

This is a lot like that time I met Kanna Hashimoto while working at an optical store a couple years ago. I tell you, she was so star-struck when she saw me, but luckily had the self-control to not post my receipt on social media when I bought some computer glasses from her. Thanks Kanna!

Source: Twitter/@livedoornews, Josei Jishin, Netlab
Photos ©SoraNews24 (Unless otherwise noted)
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