The News Today
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6.20.19
Future Society

Hackers Steal 100,000 Traveler Photos from U.S. Customs

June 11th 19__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Future Society
San Ysidro Border Traffic/Victor Tangermann

Border Hack

Bad news, travelers.

Hackers have stolen up to 100,000 images and license plate numbers stored by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), The New York Times reports. It’s not a good look for the federal government, raising questions about its ability to keep citizens’ data private — and it’s not the first data breach of its kind.

License Plate Leak

The breach occurred when a CBP subcontractor’s network was hacked after transferring copies of the images, the Times reports. The copying was against CBP’s data protection rules and was carried out without the agency’s knowledge.

The data, including pictures of drivers and their license plates, was stolen over a six week period from Perceptics, a company that specializes in license plate reading technology.

“As of today, none of the image data has been identified on the dark web or internet,” the Customs and Border Protection agency said in a statement received by the Times.

Stockpiling Data

The news comes after The Verge revealed that the CBP carried out large-scale tests in 2016 of new facial recognition technology at various point-of-entries that scanned drivers’ faces without their consent.

With more and more personal information collected, including biometric data, critics have been raising the alarm, arguing that individual privacy and security are not being safeguarded.

READ MORE: Border Agency’s Images of Travelers Stolen in Hack [The New York Times]

More on data breaches: Rogue Russian Hackers Are Attacking US Embassies