2 min read

Privacy issues in Australia"s SkillSelect platform may have exposed personal information of 700,000 aspiring migrants

Alina BÎZGĂ

May 04, 2020

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Privacy issues in Australia"s SkillSelect platform may have exposed personal information of 700,000 aspiring migrants

Personal details of more than 700,000 migrants and hopeful immigrants to Australia may have been exposed in a data breach concerning the Department of Home Affairs” SkillSelect platform.

The department asks skilled workers who wish to migrate to the land Down Under to express their interest by creating an online account, making it easier for applicants to be considered for a skilled Australian visa. While the expression of interest (EOI) is not a Visa application, candidates who participate in the skills assessment and meet the mark have higher chances of receiving work visas.

During the application process, the SkillSelect portal asks participants to complete their personal information to create their online account, including:


• given name and family name
• date of birth
• country of birth
• gender
• passport and citizenship details
• place of residency
• relationship status

Once completed, the expression of interest is stored and displayed on the publicly available app for no less than 2 years. While account holders may access their EOI and update the information at any time, users of the app can also view any applicants” “ADUserID”, an individual identifier including a partial name and numbers. While browsing through the app, the research team at Guardian Australia noticed that the database contained 774,326 unique ADUserIDs and 189,426 completed expressions of interest going back as far as 2014.

You can also check if your private data has been exposed online! Use Bitdefender”s Digital Identity Protection tool to see where you stand at the moment and what the internet knows about you.

At first glance, only the birth country, age, qualifications, marital status and the outcome of the application could be reviewed. However, if multiple filters are applied in the search, users could obtain additional details and analyze individual entries of applicants.

Following the discovery, Guardian Australia also informed the Department of Home Affairs, and the SkillsSelect platform was taken offline, “currently undergoing maintenance”.

Privacy advocates quickly latched on to the news, issuing comments regarding the governments” poor track record in keeping personal information safe.

“If you can use this to pin down a specific person that you”re thinking about and from that understand what they had entered into certain categories, then that is a way to extract information you might not already have known,” said Anna Johnston, the principal of Salinger Privacy.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

John Oliver Shows the Dark Side of Data Brokerage on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver Shows the Dark Side of Data Brokerage on Last Week Tonight

April 15, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Labs Warns of Phishing Scams Targeting MetaMask Users

Bitdefender Labs Warns of Phishing Scams Targeting MetaMask Users

April 14, 2022

3 min read
Why and how to hide your IP address while traveling

Why and how to hide your IP address while traveling

April 13, 2022

2 min read
How Bitdefender Can Help Restore Your Privacy in the Digital Age

How Bitdefender Can Help Restore Your Privacy in the Digital Age

April 04, 2022

3 min read
How Strong is VPN Encryption?

How Strong is VPN Encryption?

February 28, 2022

3 min read
Top Three Ways Internet Users Unknowingly Help Cybercriminals

Top Three Ways Internet Users Unknowingly Help Cybercriminals

February 25, 2022

4 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

What is a credit freeze and when should you use it? What is a credit freeze and when should you use it?
Alina BÎZGĂ

May 17, 2022

2 min read
Are you a victim of identity theft? Five common signs that cybercrooks are using your identity Are you a victim of identity theft? Five common signs that cybercrooks are using your identity
Alina BÎZGĂ

May 17, 2022

2 min read
What you need to know about identity theft What you need to know about identity theft
Alina BÎZGĂ

May 17, 2022

2 min read