“Sensitive personal information of active and veteran military members is being sold by U.S. data brokers that could pose a potential threat to national security, according to a recent report by Duke University…
The research team purchased details via data brokers for as low as 12 cents per record. Even the location data of military members were available for purchase.
“Access to this data could be used by foreign and malicious actors to target active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families and acquaintances for profiling, blackmail, targeting with information campaigns, and more,” the report warned. The information in the dataset included:
+ Personal details like name, home address, email, specific branch and/or agency (active duty only), wireless phone numbers, age, gender, ethnicity, language, occupation, and levels of education.
+ Family information like marital status, presence of children at home, numbers of children, ages of children, sexes of children.
+ Ideological information like political affiliation, religion, interest in charitable donations, interest in current affairs/politics.
+ Financial information like income, net worth, credit rating, homeowner/renter status, home value, and interest in gambling/casinos.
+ Medical details like ailments and health conditions.
‘…Several data broker websites advertise data on military families, with dataset titles such as ‘Military Families Mailing List’ and ‘Hard Core Military Families,’’ the report said.
None of the datasets purchased by the team were anonymized, even when brokers provided sensitive information to unverified buyers.
The datasets cost between $0.12 and $0.32 per record when buying roughly 5,000 to 15,000 records at a time. For much larger purchases, the costs go down to as little as $0.01.”