Exit explains: more than 910,000 Albanians’ personal data leaked to politicians and the public – Exit
Earlier this week, the media released details of a large database containing the personal information of more than 910,000 voters. It included members of the public, journalists, members of civil society and well-known personalities. These data were allegedly taken from the civil status register and provided to the Socialist Party for use in the election campaign.
910,000 registrations are equivalent to a third of the population, or about half of those who have the right to vote. It is believed that more documents exist and are in the hands of politicians.
The data provided included their ID number, surname, father’s name, first name, date of birth, polling center, place of birth, residence code, list number, telephone number , if they are an emigrant and if so, in which country, if they are likely to vote for the Socialist Party, the place of birth, the employer and the boss.
Not only was this data, in Access format, shared with a political party, but it was subsequently released into the public domain and is now widely shared among the public.
What is a boss and the favoritism system?
The patronage system is one by which every person in the country has a “patronazhist”. He is a low-ranking civil servant or even a simple member of the party to whom several members of the public must “watch”.
This means that they are responsible for getting closer to those they are monitoring to obtain information from them which is then reported to the party. The information includes their political affiliation and opinions and who they are likely to vote for in the election. Prime Minister Edi Rama admitted to using this system since 2009.
The National Information Society Agency (ANA) rrestless to the charges. They said that in no case was their institution’s data used by any political party, including the government. They added that it wasn’t even technically possible.
“The e-Albania stores do not manage or process citizens’ data at any time. This is clearly indicated in the portal interface. The data is kept and managed from the respective databases within the framework of the respect of the legal obligations of the administrative institutions in accordance with the act of creation. “
They called the accusations “unfounded” and guaranteed the security of citizens’ data. They called on those who had made these allegations to provide evidence.
Prime Minister Edi Rama claims that the data has historically been collected through a door-to-door collection process. He added that all political parties were doing it both in Albania and abroad.
The Prime Minister insisted that the data was not collected from e-Albania and is “old data”.
Those who found their name on the list dispute it. The information includes new employers, changes over the past few months, new businesses created in the past six months, and new mobile phone numbers registered over the past year. Another person known to Exit discovered that he was listed as an employee with a different company name than he expected. This information was not known to him and would have been available only via his tax number which is part of the data held by e-Albania.
SPAK has not yet launched investigation in flight. The chief prosecutor, Arben Kraja, stressed that checks were underway.
“We are checking, there are no denunciations yet.”
The personal data protection commissioner Redi Skenderi also ad that it carry out an assessment of the situation but that no investigation has been opened.
“With respect to the case, all necessary legal assessments are carried out for the official administration of information or evidence necessary for the administrative examination of the case.”
The implications of the leak of nearly a million personal data are serious. Identity data has a black market value and can be sold for between $ 1 and $ 5 per record, depending on the information held.
The information disclosed can be used to steal the identity of Albanian citizens. Online bank accounts, social media accounts, and accounts on other systems or websites can all be created fraudulently using an individual’s personal data. The data can also be used to create a “New“No one, hijack your accounts, steal money, ruin your credit rating, get loans, and more.
The database provides personal data and the mobile number of citizens. This means that they are potentially at risk, especially in the case of journalists, activists or famous people. They or their homes could become the target of crime or harassment. In addition, the name of each patron made public could put their safety at risk.
Under the Communist regime, a similar system was in place where Communist Party spies observed and reported on people in the neighborhood or those they were tasked with connecting with. People are sharing their boss’s name on social media and there have been a number of angry reactions.
Data breaches are viewed as a breach of privacy by members of the public. It helps to classify individual groups that can lead to discrimination and loss of freedoms. It can also cause significant personal distress, as people feel exposed, fearful and concerned about the use of their private data.
Besides the physical risk mentioned above, there are psychological risks such as anxiety, depression, stress, and panic, which are common side effects of data leaks.
The information could be used to access people’s existing accounts. Some of the information includes sensitive data that could help hackers guess passwords and the like. This exposes social networks, emails, online shopping platforms and others to the risk of being accessed by an unauthorized person. The information can also be used by private companies who wish to target individuals for the purposes of advertising, surveillance, social media targeting, etc.
A computer expert working for a large international security institution told Exit that Albania must renew the identity documents of all people if it is to build trust in public institutions, despite the huge costs involved. This should also happen in order to protect Albanian citizens from all of the above risks.
“The security of Albanian identities is now a non-existent notion. People whose data is released are at constant risk, ”he said.
Another person working for an international bank said the data released was “all you need to create another you.”
“You can commit an offense, give the police someone’s name, their ID, and I will have to go to court to have my name cleared. It is a paradise for criminals. Printing fake ID cards can now become a hobby. “