If you’re an American citizen, then chances are some of your personal details have been exposed in what experts are calling the largest known data leak of its kind.
Information of more than 200 million people has been accidentally put out for the world to see by a marketing firm tasked with helping the Republican National Committee over the election.
The huge swathe of data (1.1 terabytes) includes mobile phone numbers, birth dates and home addresses. It is believed 62 percent of the US population was affected.
Anyone with a link to the spreadsheets — stored on a publicly accessible Amazon server — could take a peek.
The information was uploaded to a server owned by Deep Root Analytics, which has taken responsibility for the leak.
Deep Root founder told Gizmodo: ‘We take full responsibility for this situation. Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access.’
The exposure was unearthed by security firm UpGuard.
Dan O’Sullivan wrote on the website’s blog: ‘This exposure raises significant questions about the privacy and security Americans can expect for their most privileged information.
‘It also comes at a time when the integrity of the US electoral process has been tested by a series of cyber assaults against state voter databases, sparking concern that cyber risk could increasingly pose a threat to our most important democratic and governmental institutions.’
Besides from personal data, the spreadsheets had information on people’s political stances and their feelings on topics like gun control and abortion.
It is believed to have been used by Republican political groups to create countless voter profiles.
O’Sullivan added: ‘That such an enormous national database could be created and hosted online, missing even the simplest of protections against the data being publicly accessible, is troubling.
‘The ability to collect such information and store it insecurely further calls into question the responsibilities owed by private corporations and political campaigns to those citizens targeted by increasingly high-powered data analytics operations.’