Why Corporations Fail to Protect Our Data


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Almost nine years ago, when both T-Mobile and Experian were hacked, I wrote an article for The New Yorker. I argued that the companies wouldn’t learn anything from the mess created by these data and privacy breaches. As a result, we, the citizens, are now simply Data Piñatas.

Consumers have become data piñatas – hacked, tracked and abused by everyone from hackers, governments, and worse of them all, apathy on part of legislators and their corporate overlords. 
I was reminded of that article, mostly because I was catching up with the news of another data breach. AT&T very reluctantly admitted that it was hacked in 2021, and millions were impacted.  It finally took action only after being contacted by a reporter from TechCrunch, a technology publication. TechCrunch reported that the company wouldn’t even admit that there was a data spill. The hack is so vast that personal data, including dates of birth, social security numbers, and other details of over 72 million people — 7.6 million current AT&T account holders and approximately 65.4 million former account holders — have been leaked. I was an AT&T customer once, so it’s pretty likely I was impacted as well. So far, AT&T has not been in touch.  These guys get in touch when you are late with your payment — but not when they can’t do their job. My initial reaction to the news was the all-too-familiar rage, and the all-too-often repeated four-letter words. AT&T wants you to sign up and get free monitoring from one of the three credit bureaus — which have been hacked at some point. This is no different from what T-Mobile did when it was hacked. The problem with such actions is that it leads to (Read more…)