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The Silicon Review Asia

An unprotected server exposes millions of voter records in Texas

An unprotected server exposes millions of voter records in Texas

Millions of Texas voter records have been found online revealing their personal information. As many as 14.8 million records were left on an unprotected server.

Such security breaches put the system in doubt and show the inability of political parties to keep the voter’s data secure. There is no information about who owns the server where the data is present without any protection or password, but the analysis reveals that it was probably compiled by Data Trust, a Republican-based data analytics firm to provide voting campaigns.

Chris Vickery, working at UpGuard as a director of cyber risk research has investigated this massive trove of voter records in Texas. Last year also he analyzed a similar case of 198 million unsecured voter records. The file which is approximately 16 GB in size contains much personal information like the citizen’s name, address, gender, contact details, ethnicity and the years of their voting experiences. It can be agreed that much of these data are public only, which is already available for free. But certain information related to party memberships or political affiliations is not public and hence cannot be accessed.

According to Sam Taylor, communications director for the Texas secretary of state, no one is authorized to use voter’s data for commercial purposes, like advertising. But many data-driven political firms like Data Trust are using the data to plan the campaigning agenda and many other political practices. Such practices must be curbed and there must be a high level of data protection in election-related events.





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