The British Ministry of Defense has been embarrassed by a data breach involving private data of Afghan translators. The email addresses of about 250 people planning to come to the UK appeared in a mass email, BBC reports.
The ministry sent the mail to Afghans who had served with the British armed forces and were still in Afghanistan or other countries. The email addresses and profile pictures of the recipients were visible to everyone who received the message.
Shocked recipient reacts to the BBC’s fatal mistake. This error could cost the interpreters their lives. Especially if they are still in Afghanistan.” Also, some of the interpreters did not immediately realize that something was wrong.” They emailed everyone to explain the situation they are in. This is very dangerous.”
The ministry would have quickly realized that an error had occurred and sent an email warning half an hour later. The interpreters were asked to delete the first email and the message: “Your email address may not be secure.”
The leak sparked angry reactions in British politics. MP Johnny Mercer of the ruling Conservative Party described the way translators are treated as “incredibly shameful”. He concluded that many people would “look for a new place to live again tonight”.
The opposition Labor Party, John Healy, said the data breach “necessarily put people’s lives at risk”. He called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to do more to bring the interpreters left behind to the UK.
The mod has sunk into dust due to the error. “We apologize to everyone affected by this leak,” a spokeswoman told the BBC. “We are committed to ensuring that nothing like this happens again.”
Western countries withdrew their forces from Afghanistan this year after two decades. The extremist Taliban movement seized power last month. In addition to the United Kingdom, other European countries and the United States have evacuated civilians and former local employees on a large scale.
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