American telecom company Comcast has accidentally published contact details from 200,000 of customers on its own web directory.
This list had their personally identifiable details like names, address and even their contact numbers. These breach is made even worse by the fact that customers had paid a monthly fee of $5.50 to keep their number unlisted from the telephone and web directories.
These contact details were exposed by Xfinity, a Comcast company, in November last year, but customers only became aware of the incident in January and February after receiving letters from the company.
- Slickwraps hit by customer data breach
- Clearview AI biometric firm suffers massive data breach
- US Defence agency reports data breach
Comcast privacy breach
“We are working with our customers directly to address this issue and help make it right, and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again,” Leslie Oliver, a Comcast spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Upon realizing the mistake, Comcast took the listing service down which means that it will no longer offer published and non-listed services. Comcast has now offered $100 each to the impacted customers and in order to maintain their privacy, it has offered a one-time number change facility at no extra cost.
Customers complained that their contact details are published all over the internet via different directory services. They wrote on company's official forum that the $100 credit may not serve any purpose since they will have to deal with multiple companies to get their numbers de-listed.
This service was especially helpful for many law enforcement officers, judges, and victims of domestic abuse etc. as it helped them to keep their contact details private.
As per Comcast, the issue has impacted almost 2.2% of its 9 million voice customers. It is though not the first time that the company has dealt with such an issue. In 2015, Comcast had to pay $33 million for settling a similar incident which happened in early 2010.
- Protect your devices with the best antivirus software packages
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.