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The Irish Independent recently reported* on a data breach at iCabbi, a company that provides a dispatch platform to taxi companies around the world. (* Thanks to my friend Ray Bowe of Xcentuate for sending this story my way).

According to the report, 287,000 people in Ireland and the UK are now potentially at higher risk of scam calls and emails because a file (containing their names, phone numbers, and email addresses) was accessible on the internet to anyone who stumbled upon it.

Apparently, the breach was caused by human error during a system migration when the file was incorrectly stored on a publicly-accessible folder and left there. Once informed about the issue by the security researcher (whose report can be read at VPNMentor), iCabbi apparently responded quickly and removed the file.

So what?

I have to admit that my initial reaction to this story was ‘Meh. Another day. Another data breach’.

And now that I’ve read more details of how it happened, I’ll admit that my reaction hasn’t changed.

Another day.

Another data breach.

Another human error.

So what?

If you’ve ever shared your phone number or email address, you can’t assume the recipient will keep it safe.

Because even those with the best of intentions can have an ‘off’ day.

So what?

It’s a reminder of why we need to be cynical of any phone call, phone message, or email that we receive.

Because our private contact information probably isn’t as private as we think it is.

In fact, perhaps you should really only trust face-to-face communications that happen in real life.

Although maybe you should avoid booking a taxi to get you to that face-to-face meeting!