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Data breaches: how they affect people and what can we do to fight them - Graphene

Data breaches: how they affect people and what can we do to fight them Photo by ev on Unsplash

Everything nowadays runs in “the cloud”: applications, software infrastructure, and data. Not only applications data — but your personal data as well. These precepts are top of mind for most teams building tools for a better future.

At the same time, not a week passes by without reading news of a new data breach. Scaringly enough — some apps store your passport/ID photos, credit cards, and more — so yes, a data breach is a reason to be alarmed. While some might think that if they are not involved in illicit activities, their privacy should not matter, it actually concerns us all and the problem is much more complex.

We are the only ones who care about our own privacy and should request this protection from service providers. Within corporations, a data breach can be disastrous for the consumers, however, not so much for the business. For example, the Equifax data breach:

“On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax revealed that months-long illegitimate access to its credit-report databases had led to the breach of personally identifiable information of over 143 million people, nearly all in the U.S. The total number grew through March 2018 to over 148 million affected. The company waited six weeks to disclose the breach. Records varyingly included credit-card, driver’s license, and Social Security numbers, date of birth, phone numbers, and email addresses.”

You might think that such a sordid event that exposed such a high number of records and made those affected completely vulnerable to identity and credit abuse, would at least have pushed new laws and methods to protect data at all costs. But the outcome of this was underwhelming, to say the least. In some places, laws are being updated to protect citizens, but these efforts are not enough. Criminals and corporations don’t care about penalties, or whether Mark Zuckerberg’s up in the Courts again for misus...

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