Paul Brislen: Why the Ministry of Culture breach is so serious

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 25 August 2019, 3:31PM
Brislen says that heads may need to roll over the breach. (Photo / Getty)

A nightmare situation for hundreds of young people whose private details may have been compromised.

Information around 300 young people gave to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has been exposed because its web security wasn't up to scratch.

It includes passports, birth certificates and drivers' licences, which had been used when those affected had applied to be part of Tuia 250 commemorations, marking 250 years since the Captain Cook landing.

They information was not secure on the initiative's website due to a coding mistake.

Tech commentator Paul Brislen told the Weekend Collective it's a big deal for those impacted.

"These are things that we use to identify ourselves for all kinds of service, so that's why this is such a serious breach."

He says that when an organisation is asking for information, they have to be held responsible for it.

"Clearly, someone wasn't doing that in this case. I'd like to see the outcome of the inquiry into this find just who is being held responsible." 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is Minister of Culture and Heritage, and admitted disappointment in what had happened. 

"The breach – which happened as a result of an information management issue - means that identity documents, and other personal information, were able to be accessed via the Tuia 250 website," Ardern said.

"This is very disappointing, and Manatū Taonga will be commissioning an external review to determine how this occurred. It is too early for me to comment further."

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