Living in the United Kingdom surely has its bright sides: you got the IT Crowd, Cider and James Bond. On the downside, British government officials have been known for their lax data privacy behavior and while it is likely that officials in other countries are not any better, one only hears of British blunders in this regard.
More than one incident came to light where data of millions of British citizens landed in the wrong hands, or at least the hands of third-parties that should not have any access to the data in first place.
James Bond on the other hand would be ashamed of the most recent incident. A 28-year old delivery men thought that he made the bargain of his life by purchasing a Nikon Coolpix camera for roughly $30 on the eBay UK store.
Imagine his surprised look when he found out that the camera was filled to the brim with top secret information from Britain's Secret Intelligence Service.
According to Techcrunch, the camera was filled with information about "al-Qaeda cells, names, images of suspected terrorists and weapons, fingerprint information, and log-in details for the Secret Service’s computer network, containing a “Top Secret” marking".
This incident leads to two conclusions: Even if politicians claim that there will be no data privacy leaks they can and will happen. The second is that it will happen again. One only wonders how many hard drives and other storage devices have been sold with sensitive information on them without the buyer realizing it.
The main question however is this: why is hardware used in top secret projects being sold off on public marketplaces like eBay and not destroyed after it is no longer being used? If this was the fault of a single agent who wanted to make a couple of bucks extra, it raises the question why that agent was in possession of the camera if it was no longer in use by the secret service.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.