Elections staff confused compression with encryption: Lost info on 2.4 million voters
“Why should anyone learn anything about computing? I don’t know anything about how my car works — I just drive it!” Maybe people should know something about computing so that elections staff can avoid losing millions of voters worth of information? (Thanks to Elizabeth Patitsas for this link.)
Elections Ontario staff who lost two memory sticks with the personal information of millions of voters did not encrypt the files because they didn’t know what encryption meant, privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said Tuesday.
“They went online, they Googled it, and the closest they could discern was that encryption means zipping the data, which means compressing the data, not encrypting it,” Cavoukian said at a press conference.
The missing USB keys included voters’ full names, addresses, date of birth, gender and whether they voted in the last election — information that is a “gold mine” for identity thieves, warned Cavoukian.