Dutch researcher finds cache of information including phone numbers, addresses and ages
An open database in China contains the personal information of more than 1.8 million women, including their phone numbers, addresses, and something called “BreedReady” status, according to a researcher.
Victor Gevers, a Dutch internet expert from the non-profit group GDI.Foundation, found the insecure data cache while searching for open databases in China. He posted a series of screenshots of it over the weekend.
In China, they have a shortage of women. So an organization started to build a database to start registering over 1,8 million women with all kinds of details like phone numbers, addresses, education, location, ID number, marital status, and a ”BreedReady" status? ? pic.twitter.com/fbRKsbNHPJ
— Victor Gevers (@0xDUDE) March 9, 2019
The database included fields labeled in English for sex, age, education, marital status, as well as a column titled “BreedReady”, which could be a poor translation of Chinese terms to describe whether a woman has children or is of child-bearing age, observers noted.
The data breach is alarming in the context of official concerns over China’s falling birthrates. Women rights advocates and critics of China’s use of strict family planning rules worry about how far the government will go to encourage more women to have children.
It is not clear whether the database is related to a dating app, a government registry, or another organisation or company. Gevers, who also identified a database maintained by a surveillance company tracking at least 2.5 million residents in Xinjiang, said he was still taking samples and working on verifying the data.
“More than this, we don’t have at the moment. Our primary concern is that it gets secured ASAP,” he told the Guardian.'
Read more: China database lists 'breedready' status of 1.8 million women