It seems like the privacy of your data is a thing of the past in modern times. Tech companies and even brick-and-mortar firms have proven time and time again that they are unable to safeguard their users' information - the Equifax breach of 2017 was one example, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal is another.
Unfortunately, a major financial breach has happened yet again. As reported by TechCrunch, a "trove" of over 24 million loan, mortgage, and other banking documents has been leaked online - that's over a decade of information, according to the outlet.
Needless to say, this breach is serious. While it's not quite on the scale of the aforementioned Equifax leak, it comes close enough to be a major problem.
Apparently, data company Ascension is the one responsible for the matter this time around. Ascension is known for turning ordinary documents into "OCRs," or computer-readable files. It sounds like the company's server security wasn't quite up to snuff, which is why this leak was able to occur.
...many of the leaked documents contain social security numbers, bank account numbers, as well as the usual name, address, and birth date information...
So, what information has been leaked, and who might be affected? TechCrunch says that, though this was not the case with every file, many of the leaked documents contain social security numbers, bank account numbers, as well as the usual name, address, and birth date info that seems to get exposed on a regular basis.
Regarding the individuals who may have been affected, it's tough to say for sure. The leaked documents contain financial agreements between credit-seekers and several banks and finance companies - some of which are now no longer in operation. A few examples of affected institutions include Capital One, Wells Fargo, and select federal loan groups.
Unlike the Equifax breach, there does not seem to be an automatic way to check whether or not your data has been exposed. As such, we'd advise our readers to carefully monitor their financial services and pull their credit reports in the coming weeks.
If you have been affected by this debacle, it's likely that you'll be notified fairly soon. Many of the companies TechCrunch reached out to (the ones that responded, anyway) say they plan to inform affected customers once their investigations conclude.