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« One to many | Main | Identity and government identity »

If you've got nothing to hide, and all that

By davebirch posted Apr 25 2007 at 6:06 AM

[Dave Birch] It's got to be the best data breach of the week.  Who cares about a few million card numbers, especially when the evidence seems to be that few of them will used.   I don't really care if my credit card number gets stolen, as it's someone else's problem.  As for debit cards, well I suppose it might cause more inconvenience but I'm more worried about my card being copied (sans chip) and used in a foreign ATM to withdraw cash.  The breaches that make the news may not be such a big deal anyway.  Suppose a few million debit card numbers get stolen, for example.  According to a study by Dove Consulting (from this month's Digital Transaction News), this would result in the issuers re-issuing all the cards.  But only 8% of the cards reissued by notified banks may have been compromised and of those, perhaps only 5% see a fraudulent transaction.  But there are plenty of other things I would much prefer not to be disclosed...

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Astroglide, noted purveyors of "personal lubricant" exposed customer information.  People who ordered the company’s products from their Web site from 2003 may have had their names and email and shipping addresses published on the Internet.  The breach exposed information for as many as tens of thousands of Astroglide customers. The data was broken down by product and date and much of it is still available in Google’s cache. It’s not known at this time how long the information, which consisted primarily of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and CSV formatted text files, was published online.  No credit card or other financial information was exposed.  But so what!  The files indexed by Google contain a total of 263,822 listings, each of which included a name and mailing addresses.  The breach was discovered when a person who had ordered a free sample of Astroglide searched for his own name in Google and found the Astroglide record of his request.  Tee hee, snigger.  Never mind the Google cache, by the way.  As it happened, a spreadsheet containing 4,529 records of people who ordered the company’s Silken Secret vaginal moisturizer product was still on the company's web site, available for download by anyone. Out of these records, 4,055 were identified as female, 472 identified as male, and two had no gender listed.  Now, let's talk about pseudonymity again...

These opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]


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It's the 472 men who ordered a product for vaginal dryness that I worry about.

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