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Take some learning from the Ashley Madison Data Leak

Published by Maevla in the blog Maevla's blog. Views: 671

The recent theft and subsequent leaking of the personal information of users of the Ashley Madison dating site for married people, and including some of it’s other brands is not the biggest data breach we have seen in the last few years, but it is quite probably one of the most controversial.

The data breach is Illegal, and no matter what we think about the nature of the business or the people who sign up to the site, it still remains illegal.

It is therefore... ...right that everybody who deals in the handling of personal data should look to see what they can learn from this event.

The sensitivity of information, and therefore the lengths we should go to protect it, is often more reliant on context than the information itself.
Email addresses are personal information, yet we don’t generally think of them as being particularly sensitive or that they need close protection. After all, they are about communication, so designed to be shared aren’t they?

However, sharing your personal email with total strangers on a site where you are looking for an extra marital liaison isn’t a particularly good idea. Being found out, at the very least will spell the end of marriages or even careers for some, and in more extreme circumstances, as has been pointed out elsewhere, some emails are from Saudi Arabia where adultery is a capital offence and could lead to people being condemned to death.

If you read the terms and conditions and look under Privacy and Use of Information – you see that looking after your data seems to be a bit of a half-hearted job, and more about looking after themselves.
The site clearly ignores EU Cookie laws, which require you to consent to allow them before you move on to the site. Email addresses were allowed onto the system without being verified, but how many of us ever actually read a privacy policy when you join a site?
How many of us realise that privacy is NOT security?

And as the membership on the site continues to grow in the thousands since the data leak, how many of us actually really care?
jeffnev and Xavier McKnight like this.
  • Xavier McKnight
  • Maevla
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