Investigation launched into massive leak of Turkish citizens’ personal data
AA photoThe Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation on April 6 into reports of a massive data leak of the personal information of nearly 50 million Turkish citizens.
“The number [almost 50 million] is close to the number of Turkish voters. This information about voters is also shared with political parties, and it should be examined whether or not they are the source of the leak. All necessary investigations have been launched,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ told reporters.
His remarks came in response to reports of a leaked database containing 49.6 million entries of private information, putting Turkish citizens at risk of identity theft and fraud.
Speaking about Transport, Communication and Maritime Affairs Minister Binali Yıldırım’s description of the report as an “old story” from 2010, Bozdağ said Yıldırım’s statements were “accurate.”
“These reports have surfaced a number of times before. One also emerged in 2010. Yıldırım’s statements are correct,” he said.
Bozdağ said a new law concerning the protection of personal data, which will go into effect after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval, secures personal data “just as it is protected across the world.”
“In order to prevent such incidents, the necessary measurements will be taken with this law,” he added.
Reports of a fresh data leak began circulating early on April 5, after the Associated Press released a report on hackers who posted a database online that included the personal information of nearly 50 million Turkish citizens, describing the incident “one of the largest leaks of its kind.”
A website, in which a surnames-based search of leaked data was possible, was still online on April 6. The information that can be accessed on the website included data such as national ID numbers, addresses, birthdates and parents’ names.