E3 data breach leaks data of 2000 journalists

E3 data breach leaks data of 2000 journalists

game controllers - e3 data breachE3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is one of the biggest events in the calendar for video gaming – but it’s recently been revealed that a data breach at this year’s event left data exposed for over 2000 people.

This E3 data breach came as a result of a spreadsheet that was published on the event’s website and made publicly available.

As reported by Kotaku:

The Entertainment Software Association, the organization that runs E3, has since removed the link to the file, as well as the file itself, but the information has continued to be disseminated online in various gaming forums. While many of the individuals listed in the documents provided their work addresses and phone numbers when they registered for E3, many others, especially freelance content creators, seem to have used their home addresses and personal cell phones, which have now been publicized. This leak makes it possible for bad actors to misuse this information to harass journalists. Two people who say their private information appeared in the leak have informed Kotaku that they have already received crank phone calls since the list was publicized.

You can read Kotaku’s full report on the story here: https://kotaku.com/e3-expo-leaks-the-personal-information-of-over-2-000-jo-1836936908

While the ESA moved quickly to plug this breach and limit the danger to users, they made a crucial mistake. They deleted the page containing the link to the spreadsheet – but after the story broke in the news, it was found that the spreadsheet itself was still accessible.

This E3 data breach could potentially be very costly for ESA. With journalists attending the event from all over the world, they could find themselves subject to investigations and penalties under multiple different data protection laws, including GDPR.

Kotaku also updated their report to note that ESA provided the following statement:

In the course of our investigation, we learned that media contact lists from E3 2004 and 2006 were cached on a third-party internet archive site. These were not files hosted on ESA’s servers or on the current website. We took immediate steps to have those files removed, and we received confirmation today that all files have either been taken down or are in the process of being removed from the third-party site.


We are working with our partners, outside counsel, and independent experts to investigate what led to this situation and to enhance our security efforts. We are still investigating the matter to gain a full understanding of the facts and circumstances that led to the issue.

But with the data already out there, the damage has likely already been done.

Contact us straight away if you’re concerned about the possibility of a data breach at your organisation. Under GDPR, the fines can be severe: up 20 20 million euros or 4% of annual turnover per breach!

CEOs unaware of GDPR non-compliance

CEOs unaware of GDPR non-compliance

data - gdpr non-complianceA new investigation by Delphix has uncovered some worrying information about GDPR non-compliance in the UK, with many businesses unaware of their failings to meet their obligations under GDPR.

Despite the fines and penalties involved in GDPR non-compliance – as can be seen from the recent British Airways fine – many organisations seemed unaware of the need to be careful with personal data.

Employees revealed that they are often unaware of whether they are GDPR compliant or not, with some showing little concern about the matter. One chief information security officer (CISO) even admitted to lying to their CEO about the company’s compliance levels.

As reported by DataCentreNews:

“These confessions should come as a wake-up call to the C-suite,” says Delphix CTO Eric Shrock.


“It is clear that the vast majority of top-level execs are blissfully unaware of how easily accessible their highly sensitive data is,” he adds.


“Pair that with growing frustration amongst developers looking to acquire data quickly and we have the perfect recipe for disaster.”

You can read the full article from DataCentreNews here: https://datacentrenews.eu/story/ceos-falsely-led-to-believe-company-is-gdpr-compliant-delphix

That data protection awareness is not better at the very highest levels of business should be a major concern. It’s often at these levels that people have the most access to personal data.

Data protection and awareness of GDPR should always be incorporated into business processes by design and default. By implementing this philosophy, the kinds of lapses that Delphix uncovered are much less likely to occur.

It’s also important that data protection training be carried out across the entire organisation, from both the lowest level employee to the highest. Anybody within an organisation can be responsible for a data breach; improving awareness of a company’s GDPR non-compliance starts by educating the workforce.

Here at Activa Consulting, we offer a range of staff training options, both in-person and online, to help minimise the risk of data breaches and the resulting fines. If you’re concerned about your compliance levels, get in touch with us today!

Facebook “Like” button could be GDPR risk

Facebook “Like” button could be GDPR risk

facebook like button imageIt’s common to see the Facebook Like button on websites these days, but it may be a danger to those sites as a result of a new ruling from the European Court of Justice

The court has decided that the website owners themselves are responsible for the data collected through the button. They are therefore also liable in cases where this data could be breached.

Given the social media giant’s infamous history regarding data protection issues, there’s good reason to be worried about the Facebook Like button. As reported by The Drum:

In their ruling the judges say the use of such widgets by any organisation amounts to being a joint data controller, meaning that websites “must provide, at the time of their collection, certain information to those visitors such as, for example, its identity and the purposes of the [data] processing.”


The darker side of Facebook’s Like button has come to prominence in recent months on the back of a series of privacy scandals to rock Facebook, with analysts pointing out that its primary function isn’t as a digital show of support but a tool to track individuals and permit data collection beyond Facebook’s products.


This was brought to light in a case involving German retailer Fashion ID which was sued by consumer rights group Verbraucherzentrale NRW over its use of the Facebook widget which escalated to the ECJ, which has now determined that Fashion ID must be considered a data controller in terms of both the collection and transmission of data.

You can read the full article here: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/07/30/facebook-s-button-poses-gdpr-risks-host-websites

Becoming complicit in Facebook’s data protection failings is an extremely dangerous thing to do – and considering its track record, could potentially bring certain companies to their knees. Many websites would therefore do well to completely remove the Facebook Like button.

This demonstrates how important it is to be aware of not only your own data protection processes, but also those of third-party developers and services.

You may believe your organisation to be GDPR compliant, but if you are using the services of one which isn’t, you will still be liable for any data breaches that occur as a result of their failings.

If you think this is a concern at your company, we can help. Contact us today – our GDPR consultancy services can help improve your compliance levels and reduce the data protection risks businesses face.

30% of EU businesses fail GDPR compliance

30% of EU businesses fail GDPR compliance

EU flag - fail GDPR complianceA new survey of EU firms by RSM has discovered that 30% admitted that they fail GDPR compliance – and that a further 13% were not certain whether they are compliant or not. This leaves only 57% confident in their data protection processes.

This is worrying news given that it has been over a year since GDPR came into force. All of these organisations should have been prepared in advance, and ensured that they were compliant before 25th May 2018.

But because they fail GDPR compliance, they are putting themselves at risk.

As reported by Silicon:

It seems that there is no single issue to blame for non-compliance, but middle market businesses are apparently struggling to understand and implement a whole range of areas covered by the regulation.


The survey found that more than a third (38 percent) of non-compliant businesses do not understand when consent is required to hold and process data, 35 percent are unsure how they should monitor their employees’ use of personal data and 34 percent don’t understand what procedures are required to ensure third party supplier contracts are compliant.


The good news however is that despite the lack of compliance, GDPR is starting to have a positive impact on cyber security.


According to RSM, almost three quarters (73 percent) of European businesses say GDPR has encouraged them to improve the way they manage customer data and 62 percent say it has seen them increase their investment in cyber security. But alarmingly 21 percent of businesses admit that they still have no cyber security strategy in place.

You can read the full article here: https://www.silicon.co.uk/security/security-management/third-not-gdpr-compliant-272411

It therefore seems as if GDPR’s overall effect so far has been mixed. But with fines starting to appear thanks to GDPR – with British Airways recently receiving a record penalty of £183 million from the ICO – firms need to start taking their compliance more seriously.

We would always advise that data protection should be by design and default. Aside from the potential financial dangers of not being GDPR compliant, these firms are also risking a loss of trust from their customers and not being as efficient as they could be.

If you’re concerned that your organisation fails GDPR compliance, or want to further improve your data protection procedures and therefore your efficiency, click here to contact us today and find out more about our GDPR consultancy packages.

We weren’t scaremongering. BA’s £183m GDPR fine should alarm every business.

We weren’t scaremongering. BA’s £183m GDPR fine should alarm every business.

So, those of us who warned how profoundly dangerous a GDPR fine could be for businesses two years ago weren’t wrong – we were among the very first to recognise the implications and it’s now clear that the game has changed and if either your GDPR compliance, or cybersecurity, are compromised it can bankrupt your business. The first major GDPR fine – £183 Million – yes you read that right – is now public. Contact [email protected] for quick, comprehensive guidance. (more…)