By Brian Naylor | NPR
So it seems that it’s not only Democrats who have trouble keeping their digital information secure online. An extensive database of information about 198 million Americans collected by a contractor hired by Republican groups was obtained by a security researcher, who found it on an Amazon server, with not even a single password protecting it.
The data included home addresses, birth dates and phone numbers of voters from both parties. It was discovered by Chris Vickery, a cyber-risk analyst with the firm UpGuard.
“Although a breach of an individual’s personal information is always disconcerting, the outrage felt by individuals when their information is left vulnerable certainly corresponds to the type of information compromised. With this breach, not only were individuals’ birth dates, addresses, and phone numbers compromised, but data indicating individuals’ ethnicities, religious affiliations, and political and ethical positions was also compromised. Such data is not readily available and it is not the type of data one would automatically associate with a data breach. Breaches involving such data may cause individuals to think twice about sharing this sort of information. ”