The nation is still reeling as news surfaces about a recent data breach that exposed the sensitive information of over 100 million people from the bank Capital One. The bank was informed of the breach on July 19 but waited until July 29 to inform the public. This amounts to one of the largest bank-related breaches in history.
Allegedly, the hacker is a former software engineer at Amazon Web Services who discovered an improperly secured Amazon cloud instance—which hosted the ultra-sensitive Capital One data–and successfully breached the instance.
Now, over 100 million people’s sensitive information, including social security numbers, has been exposed to common criminals across the web, putting people in danger of fraud and stolen identity.
“As reporters and investigators debate whether Amazon or Capital One messed up—the harsh reality is that Congress messed up too. Big time,” said Laila Abdelaziz, a campaigner at digital rights group Fight for the Future. “Federal lawmakers have been taking huge amounts of money from the technology and banking industries and refusing to do anything meaningful to protect people’s privacy and security. Congress has bowed to industry demands that they regulate themselves, and as a result they’ve endangered the safety of the entire nation. Breaches like this one will continue to happen until Congress passes strong protections demanding private companies build technology with people’s safety and security in mind.”
In 2019 Fight for the Future launched FightforPrivacy.co to help people contact their members of Congress and demand strong privacy protections. The campaign includes a demand for a private right of action. This protection would guarantee people’s right to sue companies that violate their privacy, a basic consumer right notoriously stolen from people via obscure terms and conditions agreements.