Latest in Australia

Image credit:

Auto-complete blunder leaks passport details of world leaders

64 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Australia has proved that it can hold its own against Hillary Clinton any day when it comes to email gaffes. The nation's immigration department accidentally disclosed the passport numbers and other personal info of every world leader attending last year's G20 summit, then compounded the problem by hushing it up. Affected leaders include US president Barack Obama, Russia's Vladimir Putin and British prime minister David Cameron. According to an email obtained by the Guardian, "the cause of the breach was human error... (an immigration employee) failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person's detail into the email 'To' field."

As a result, the world leaders' info was sent in error to surprised organizers of an international soccer tournament held in Australia early this year. The mistake was noticed immediately by the employee, who brought it to the attention of his superiors. However, after determining that it was "unlikely" the email was in the public domain, an immigration officer recommended against sharing the leak with the affected countries. That provoked a strong reaction from Australia's opposition party, which said "the prime minister (Tony Abbott) must explain this serious incident and the decision not to inform those affected." Many nations including the US and UK have strict laws requiring that victims of data breaches be informed -- especially if they're in charge of the entire country.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
64 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

View
Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

View
Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

View
Apple gets US approval for Mac Pro tariff exemptions

Apple gets US approval for Mac Pro tariff exemptions

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr