Personal data lives on after the sites that collected it are gone


The discovery in 2016 of previous hacker break-ins such as the 2013 theft of 360 million old MySpace accounts and the 2012 hack of LinkedIn suggest that although websites come and go and "linkrot" means web pages have a short half-life, user data lives on for a deceptively long time. This is especially true of user names, passwords, profiles, and other personal data that is both commercially valuable and useful to criminals over a long period. The email address that someone used to open a MySpace account in 2000 may still be the one they use to manage their bank account in 2016, and 20% of users reuse passwords.

Writer: Kaveh Waddell
Publication: Atlantic

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