Recently, a database of 1.2 billion users’ personal information was found unprotected on a server that included social media accounts, email addresses, and phone numbers. So far it is not clear why the database appears on this server.
Vinny Troia, CEO of Night Lion Security, based in St. Louis, said most of the data in the database was collected by a company called People Data Labs. The Human Data Lab claims to provide work email and social media account details for up to 1.5 billion people. According to the company’s website, data is obtained from multiple sources, and users who purchase data can access more than 70% of decision-makers in the US, UK, and Canada.
People Data Labs explains that it can even deliver this data straight to its customers, saying:
“A dataset of resume, contact, social, and demographic information for over 1.5 Billion unique individuals, delivered to you at the scale you need it. With just a few lines of code, you can begin enriching anywhere from dozens to billions of records with over 150 data points. If you don’t have the time, we can deliver the data straight to you via S3, SFTP, Google Drive, Elasticsearch.”
Troia said the unprotected data was not stored on a server in the Human Data Lab, but on a Google Cloud server. Google did not respond to questions about who was renting the server.
Sean Thorne, co-founder, and CEO of the Human Data Lab said that only part of the data came from his company, and he suspected that the data was collected by another company.