Tuesday, December 29, 2015

191 million US voters records exposed on the internet

If you're a US citizen and voted this century, it's highly likely your data is out there in the wild for anyone to see.

As if company data breaches weren't enough, now we have to deal with personal records being out there, publicly available, requiring not even a hack at all. And to make it even worse, this time it seems there is no one to blame, as there seems to be no official owner of this data.
A misconfigured database has led to the disclosure of 191 million voter records. The database, discovered by researcher Chris Vickery, doesn't seem to have an owner; it's just sitting in the public – waiting to be discovered by anyone who happens to be looking.

The database contains a voter's full name (first, middle, last), their home address, mailing address, a unique voter ID, state voter ID, gender, date of birth, date of registration, phone number, a yes/no field for if the number is on the national do-not-call list, political affiliation, and a detailed voting history since 2000. In addition, the database contains fields for voter prediction scores.

Although voter information (except for a few elements protected by law in some states) is public record, some states make it very hard - or expensive - to get. This database simply makes it far more easier to access this data and use for "whatever anyone wants to" (officially, this data would be restricted to non-commercial use).

Well, if there was still any doubt about it, here it is: welcome to 2016, the year privacy has officially become extinct.

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