Yep, that makes sense and it's the right decision in the climate of the time. A single effort improved two unrelated problems and made day to day operations management simpler. And most users didn't care about the downsides.
This is why schneier argues that security and privacy are things we need governmental mandates for. For the most part, it's not a major customer requirement, especially for non corporate users. So companies skint on it because it's what you have to do.