A study published Monday by Duke University researchers reported that sensitive personal information about thousands of active-duty US military personnel could be bought online for as cheap as $0.12 per record....
A study published Monday by Duke University researchers reported that sensitive personal information about thousands of active-duty US military personnel could be bought online for as cheap as $0.12 per record.1
The study was funded by the US Military Academy at West Point, which was concerned that unlawful access to this data could pose a national security risk.2
Over the course of one year, the researchers found that so-called data brokers were collecting and selling service members’ information — including home addresses, Social Security numbers, and medical histories.3
The researchers contacted 12 data brokers and bought information from three. In some cases, the researchers used '.asia' email addresses and servers in Singapore to prove the brokers were willing to sell data to foreign entities.4
Some geolocation data, however, wasn't easily accessible if it related to a person near what was characterized as a 'sensitive' location, but geolocations for people elsewhere were available for purchase.4
Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by PC Magazine. There's a gaping hole in the protection provided to US service members and there must be a ban on trafficking this type of information — especially when it comes to transactions with foreign adversaries. Congress can take robust action to protect the men and women of the US armed forces through supportive regulatory processes.
Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by MIT Technology Review. This study should be unsettling, particularly to those in Congress. But no one should be shocked because even before the results of the study were published it was obvious individuals' data was being peddled by these brokers. It's not too late to right this wrong, but Congress should have acted years ago and failed to do so.