The time is long over due to cease talking about data privacy – we have none – and move forward, now, to develop and implement standards to secure our metadata from organizations that collect, aggregate, sell, buy and trade every facet of our “data” without our knowledge and consent, with ramifications that continue to remain opaque to all too many Americans. Via Wired: “You’ve probably never heard of the marketing and data aggregation firm Exactis. But it may well have heard of you. And now there’s also a good chance that whatever information the company has about you, it recently leaked onto the public internet, available to any hacker who simply knew where to look. Earlier this month, security researcher Vinny Troia discovered that Exactis, a data broker based in Palm Coast, Florida, had exposed a database that contained close to 340 million individual records on a publicly accessible server. The haul comprises close to 2 terabytes of data that appears to include personal information on hundreds of millions of American adults, as well as millions of businesses. While the precise number of individuals included in the data isn’t clear—and the leak doesn’t seem to contain credit card information or Social Security numbers—it does go into minute detail for each individual listed, including phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and other highly personal characteristics for every name. The categories range from interests and habits to the number, age, and gender of the person’s children.
- See also Infographic: List of data breaches in 2017 – “2017 was a big year for data breaches. Uber, Equifax and Yahoo all fell victim, and many small organisations also suffered a breach or cyber attack. When it comes to cyber threats, all types of organisations are at risk.