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Digital Identity and Privacy: Examples

How some people found out their data was being used in unsuspected ways.

- ACLU shares current topics on privacy and security.

- Man receives coupons in the mail.  The mailing label says "Daughter Killed in Car Crash" below his name.  ( Apparently the third party vendor that sends out the coupons had that information on file somewhere.  It was part of the public record.  

-A father received a book of coupons from Target with ads for baby clothes and other infant supplies.  After confronting the local Target manager he found out that his teenage daughter was pregnant.(  Based on other purchases Target can determine whether or not a customer is pregnant with 87% accuracy. (

-Posts on Strava, a running and mountain biking app, lead to a city council banning mountain bikers on certain trails becasue of their speeds. (

(In)Famous Breaches

Mirai Botnet (2017) - Hackers used explots in IoT devices like the Amazon Echo to create a "botnet" or army of machines all attacking one target at the same time with great success.

Equifax (2016) - Personal and banking information of about 143 million people was stolen from Equifax servers. Interestingly, the breach was concealed for a number of months and mitigation after the fact was not handled well.

Ashley Madison (2014) - A group gained access to the sites user base and threatened to release it if the site wasn't shut down.

Stuxnet (2010) - A malicious worm targeting high level industrial equipment, specifically Iran's nuclear infrastructure.