In 2015, the US government suffered a severe breach in cyber security after the government found out that 20 million personnel records from the Office of Personnel Management were accessed by hackers. (The Washington Post 7/9/2015) The data breach was considered critical, because it was highly likely that every individual that applied for security clearance since 2000 was exposed to the data breach.

Despite the severity of the breach, the news did not gain significant traction as the Presidential race began to dominate the news media. Unfortunately, another severe data breach as occurred in Turkey, and the news has not spread sufficiently in major US media, despite the news story being a few days old. Even the New York Times and the Washington Post merely posted an AP or Reuters article online without bothering to write an original, in-depth article exploring the Turkish data leak. [The New York Times Screen Grab at around 3:30 PM EST 4/9/2016] [The Washington Post Screen Grab at around 3:30 PM EST 4/9/2016]

It is reported that the personal information of about 50 million Turkish citizens have been breached, and the entire data set has been hosted online. (Euronews 4/6/2016) The database includes names, address, national ID numbers, parents' full name, and date of birth. This data breach heightens the threat of identity theft for virtually all Turkish citizens. While the Turkish government is investigating the data leak (Yahoo with AFP 4/6/2016), the hackers seemed to mock the government by exposing the faux security mechanism the database.

Despite the increasing incidents of data leaks, the topic of data breach seems to not entered into the major public discourse. Due to convenience and efficiency, most of the public's sensitive information are stored electronically, and guarding the information against malicious hackers has become ever more important. It is critical to have increased public awareness of data breaches, and the public must hold companies and government officials accountable whenever such data breach occurs.

Simply offering a free three-year credit monitoring and anti-identity theft service (This was US government's response to the OPM data breach) is not sufficient in addressing the post-data-breach concerns. Once the personal data is out in public, the victims are at risk potentially for life.


This is my writing depository containing analysis and opinion on current events. Online since 2004, DS NETS continues to strive to contribute to the general online discussion on the ongoing political, societal, and cultural events around the world and at home.

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