Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement to inform the public that one of his security staff emailed information on Israel’s voting system and individuals to a US lobbyist. This information, including voter’s data, was sent to the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
According to the statement, the staffer gave all information that was within Israeli intelligence organization’s scope to the lobby group, which is seeking support for legislation regarding US access to Israeli information and technology companies. The Republican lobbyist Christopher Devine, former coordinator of the Israeli congressional liaison program, introduced the bill through personal email address.
This information was sent through Gmail accounts. Now, The Guardian reports that it has seen the email showing data, including names, addresses, height, weight, and information on the type of house a voter lives in. The leak happened during the 2015 election cycle.
An official response to the leak has not been made yet.
Google spokesperson said in an email to the Guardian:
Google takes privacy seriously and does not permit the collection of personal data from Google Services. We make efforts to only allow users to save data they themselves actively choose to save. Users can select a number of devices from which they would like to automatically save passwords, instant messages, and private photos and videos in the two other options set by the terms of service. We also offer features that allow users to selectively save things they would like to access offline. We have rigorous policies for collecting and storing data. Please note that this does not mean that we are saving the complete contents of users’ messages. Additionally, we cannot share this information with other companies, including those it would otherwise connect to Google.
Still unknown as to who was in possession of all of this data.
ZDNet also reported in 2010 that Israeli citizens have been logging into Chrome since 2010, and will be sent a message if another user is logged in to the page using the same password. The extension states “For example, if two users want to share a page, one user will be given the option to share it. But the other user will not be.” While this seems innocuous, the fact that there’s apparently information on the page about the user that can be accessed is a little scary.
Last year, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs tried to block the implementation of open Internet standards by blocking Austrian researchers’ BitTorrent trackers. It failed.
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