When you’re a news journalist, it’s hard to know when reporting on a story just makes it worse. KitGuru has already heard from 3 different marketing companies who learned that a database of over 100 million people’s details has been made publicly available, by reading the story on the BBC. With a wonderful aroma of pure irony, KitGuru investigates how problems get compounded by reporting on them.
People who use computers should not really expect privacy. We’ve all been victims. Whether it was a huge hack from the other side of the planet or simply forgetting to log our from Facebook at lunchtime and returning to your desk to find that you’ve joined every same-sex-dating group on the web. Using a computer and believing you are not at risk is like getting in a car and being certain that you won’t have an accident.
Facebook is fantastic. It has revolutionised the way we communicate, share parts of our lives and maintain/re-establish contact with friends throughout our lives. That connection is made possible because we share personal data.
That data is then, effectively, in the public domain.
One smart programmer later and the entire list of available information has been downloaded into a simple 2.78GB database that can be downloaded from the torrent streams in less than 1 day.
How do we know this? Because the BBC reported on it. It gave us the fact that the data was out there, the size of the file and that the torrents were currently sharing the information.
KitGuru says: Is this a wise thing to report on ? Is it not just raising the interest of people who perhaps wouldn’t know where to get this personal information in the first place? Discuss in our forums.