April 07, 2020

Yet Another Data Breach

Long time readers of The Kuper Report know that I have been writing about data security, or the lack thereof, for many, many years. One would think that by the year 2020 organizations had gotten their acts together and addressed such matters -- and made sure the private personal data of their customers were protected. Sadly, this has not been the case.

On March 31, 2020, Marriott International, who I have written about in the past regarding privacy and security issues, announced that the following customer information was likely compromised:
  • Contact Details (e.g., name, mailing address, email address, and phone number)
  • Loyalty Account Information (e.g., account number and points balance, but not passwords)
  • Additional Personal Details (e.g., company, gender, and birthday day and month)
  • Partnerships and Affiliations (e.g., linked airline loyalty programs and numbers)
  • Preferences (e.g., stay/room preferences and language preference)
They also indicated that the security breach affected approximately 5.2 million guests.

For more information about the latest Marriott breach, see Marriott's support site.

As I have written many times before about privacy and security breaches, it is way past time that these issues were addressed and resolved. These breaches keep happening, frequently at the same companies. As I've also previously reported, breaches have occurred (and likely will continue) with voting machines. These serious privacy and security data breaches affect peoples lives.

When will privacy and security be taken seriously and dealt with properly by individuals, corporations, and the government? To purposely be redundant: It is way past time.

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Links to some previous articles regarding data privacy and security issues are below. Read them to understand that these problems have been going on for many, many years and should have been resolved a long, long time ago.

May 2006: Data Security: An Oxymoron

August 2006: Data Security: An Oxymoron - continued

January 2007: So how secure is your PC?

March 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: Stolen Data from TJX (T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores) since 2003 Used in $8M Scheme Before Breach Discovery

April 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: More Security/Identity Breaches and Issues 

May 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: University of Missouri Hacked For Second Time This Year

May 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: IBM loses tapes with personal information on current and former employees

September 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: Are you giving away your personal or corporate data to thieves?

May 2008: Updated: Privacy & Security Watch: Beware of fake emails appearing to be from the IRS

June  2008: Privacy & Security Watch: TJX Fires Employee for Disclosing Security Problems

June 2008: Privacy & Security Watch: Diebold Summer Sale Offers Used Voting Machines 


December 2014: Data Security - Still an Oxymoron these many years later

November 2018: Another Major Data Breach


December 2018: 100 Million Quora Users Affected by Data Breach

June 1019: Commentary: "Data Security" is Still an Oxymoron and An Ongoing Threat 


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Richard L. Kuper

The Kuper Report

March 28, 2020

As we all deal with the CoronaVirus


As we all deal with the CoronaVirus in one way or another, technology has helped in a variety of ways. For example, this newsletter is available (and has been for the longest time) without having to leave home or go to a mailbox, because it is available via the internet. Keeping up with the latest news about the virus and how to deal with it is available 24/7 via the internet and some cable TV stations. Just about everyone has a phone which enables the ability to be in touch with others, even when in isolation --be it a home phone that can only make and receive voice calls, or a cell phone that also has the ability to see the person at the other end of the conversation with the right tools. There are even free apps to have video gatherings.

Technology is also being used to speed up testing so that folks don’t have to wait a week or more to find out if their test came back positive or negative.

Those are some of the good things about technology in these trying times. There is another side, though. TMI (too much information) can also be a debilitating thing for those who are already anxious or depressed, or it can create such conditions in those who previously were not or were only slightly debilitated in that way. Those folks should try to find a way to disconnect from the 24/7 barrage and instead use technology to find calming messages and music and entertainment. There are free apps for meditation and such as well.

Technology is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.

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Richard L. Kuper

The Kuper Report

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