Monday, March 30, 2015

31 World leaders passports uncovered

In the era of machines, nobody seems to be safe from your data escaping all barriers and run free across the networks. We say it almost as a joke, but is an extremely serious problem, for which they are not yet any definitive solutions. Today we learned that not even the main leaders of our planets are spared from this plague. Yes, we're talking about Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Tony Abbott.


It happened in November last year, at a G20 meeting in Australia: someone in the organization sent a list with personal data of the invited leaders, including passport numbers, to a football committee chief. But he had such bad luck that the Microsoft Outlook "autocomplete" function sent it to another person, who was alerted and immediately erased it. Nobody counted on the "backup" diary, which kept the data in the system.

It sounds ironic, specially when we know that these leaders lead secret intelligence systems dedicated in body and soul to electronic surveillance of citizens. The new Amnesty International campaign with the slogan #StopFollowingMe complains about this topic. Others who didn't expected their privacy to be compromised were British Airways Excutive Club members: someone accessed their accounts and, according to the company, only erased their points without stealing anything.  Believe it or not.

The old diatribe "privacy versus security" is disappearing to reveal a new reality: privacy has become a security issue. And relevant one nowadays. A study by Carnegie Mellon University reveals that a few dozen mobile apps -including many preinstalled that can not be easily removed- monitor their users every three minutes and send data on their geographic location. 

Luckily, we still have television to sit for a while to think calmly. But not even that it's sacred anymore: Eurovision has confirmed that their eliminatory votes had been hacked, by bombarding the app for mobile created for this contest servers. The attack comes in the context of the recent criticisms of electronic voting systems in Nigeria and Australia.

Troubling news for a Monday which awaits the holidays anxiously. Don't panic, that will be soon enough!

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