How secure is personal information in Turkey?
I will answer right away. Not much.
As you might be aware, in the last presidential race, for the first time in Turkish political history, people and companies were allowed to donate to their favorite candidate.
Lately the new information about how there was misconduct about the process is on the news.
Apparently only 300,000 of the 1.4 million donators were real and the rest were fictitious. FİNTEK, software developed jointly by Ziraat Bank and Halk Bank, was used to create fictitious donations.
According to the sources, most of the people who donated in favor of the current president did not donate themselves. Their Turkish identity numbers were taken and small amounts of money were donated in their name with the help of the software. It was discovered that more than 800,000 people donated below 10 Turkish Liras on the last day of the donations. A newspaper claimed that it obtained the list of the donators and found this out.
This is horrible and shows how technology can be used to serve bad intentions. We are kind of used to this in Turkey by now. What the Justice and Development Party (AKP) did is not exactly criminal, but manipulative and not gentlemanly.
However Serhat Ayan of tknlj.com asked an incredibly important question in his latest article after reading the news.
He asked how was a journalist able to acquire the names and identity numbers of the people who donated in favor of the current president. If a journalist can reach this sensitive information, then the government can too. It means that the government can use and abuse these lists in order to sort people out. If the government can also reach the list of donators to rival candidates, it could also make it impossible for the donors to get governmental jobs, tenders etc.
Somebody should explain to us how this information can be leaked. But I am sure that no one will. This will go down in history as another identity breach in Turkey. No one will claim responsibility and no one will be punished for it.
These are the type of things that make Turkey unreliable. Being unreliable in turn minimizes Turkey’s bid for its goals for 2023.