Privacy, Data Security

Online sale of US military personnel data prevalent

NBC News reports that sensitive personal data from U.S. military personnel is not only prevalently advertised online but also cheap to obtain, with Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy researchers being able to purchase information belonging to nearly 50,000 U.S. service members from data brokers for only a little over $10,000. All military personnel data which included names, addresses, and phone numbers, with some also having the names of personnel's children and marital status, as well as their credit rating and net worth have been purchased by researchers from three of more than 500 data brokers touting such information. Researchers noted that some brokers had non-disclosure agreement requirements while others refused sale upon being informed of the buyers' identity. The findings emphasize a lack of legislative focus on privacy matters impacting national security, according to researcher Justin Sherman. Similar sentiments have been expressed by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who noted the study to be "a sobering wake-up call for policymakers that the data broker industry is out of control and poses a serious threat to U.S. national security."

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.