No one wants to hear about data breaches, but it is even more unwelcome news around the holidays. This latest report of confidential data being exposed came to us from CNet in their article, “1.2 billion records exposed in unsecured database.”

Security researchers have identified an unprotected Elasticsearch server that exposed 1.2 billion records of personal data, including email addresses, employers, locations, job titles, names, phone numbers, and social media profiles. The exposed data included an index indicating it was sourced from data enrichment company People Data Labs (PDL) and contained 622 million unique email addresses.

PDL’s LinkedIn profile said it has a “dataset of 1.5 billion unique person profiles to build products, enrich person profiles, power predictive modeling/artificial intelligence, analysis, and more.”

In November 2019, a regular security audit led to a researcher finding over 80 million records of sensitive, aggregated data on an Elasticsearch server. It is unknown how long the databases were sitting unguarded and who, if anyone, has had the opportunity to copy and steal all the data.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.