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Marketing Firm Exposes Personal Information of 230 Million

The marketing firm Exactis, one of many “shadowy operations” that collect, collate, and trade consumers’ data for ad-targeting purposes left their information exposed on a publicly-accessible server. A security researcher found the information with common software used for scanning the internet for this type of data; he assumes that if he has found it, others easily have also. The information affected over 230 million consumers and businesses. Fortunately, the information did not include Social Security Numbers or credit card information, but exposed addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, plus details on religious preferences, smoking habits, and pets. Much of the information seemed to have been gleaned from magazine subscriptions or records of transactions. Exactis has since protected the database, but it is probably already too late.