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New Duke study shows personal information of service members is being sold on the web

Loic Venance
AFP/Getty Images

A new study shows the personal information of U.S. military personnel is for sale on the Internet for just pennies per record.

The team of researchers at Duke University found it was possible to buy data from U.S. data brokers, including the health conditions and home addresses of some service members, for as little as 12 cents.

The study said the information could be used to target active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families and acquaintances for things like blackmail and stalking.

CNN is reporting that Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden called the study a sobering wake-up call for policymakers that the data broker industry is out of control and poses a serious threat to U.S. national security.

A Pentagon spokesman said the study findings raise concerns about privacy interests, civil liberties interests, national security implications, threats to service members from adversaries, and operational security risks.

Link to study -- https://techpolicy.sanford.duke.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/11/Sherman-et-al-2023-Data-Brokers-and-the-Sale-of-Data-on-US-Military-Personnel.pdf

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to eastern North Carolina in 2019 to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of kiddo cuddling, reading, and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.