HomeTechnologyFor Sale on eBay: A Military Database of Fingerprints and Iris Scans

For Sale on eBay: A Military Database of Fingerprints and Iris Scans

“This could not have occurred,” Mr. Baker mentioned. “It’s a catastrophe for the folks whose information is uncovered. Within the worst instances, the results could possibly be deadly.”

What we contemplate earlier than utilizing nameless sources. Do the sources know the knowledge? What’s their motivation for telling us? Have they proved dependable prior to now? Can we corroborate the knowledge? Even with these questions glad, The Instances makes use of nameless sources as a final resort. The reporter and at the very least one editor know the id of the supply.

Of the six units the researchers purchased on eBay — 4 SEEKs and two HIIDEs, for Handheld Interagency Identification Detection Gear — two of the SEEK II units had delicate information on them. The second SEEK II, with location metadata displaying it was final utilized in Jordan in 2013, appeared to include the fingerprints and iris scans of a small group of U.S. service members.

When reached by The Instances, one American whose biometric scan was discovered on the machine confirmed that the info was seemingly his. He beforehand served as a Marine intelligence specialist and mentioned his information, and that of every other American discovered on these units, was almost definitely collected throughout a army coaching course. The person, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he nonetheless works within the intelligence discipline and was not licensed to talk publicly, requested that his biometric file be deleted.

Navy officers mentioned the one cause these units would have information on People could be their use throughout coaching periods, a typical apply to organize for using them within the discipline.

In response to the Protection Logistics Company, which handles the disposal of tens of millions of {dollars} of extra Pentagon matériel annually, units just like the SEEK II and the HIIDE by no means ought to have made it to the open market — a lot much less a web based public sale web site like eBay. As an alternative, all biometric assortment gear is meant to be destroyed on web site when not wanted by army personnel, as are different digital units that after held delicate operational info.

How eBay sellers obtained these units is unclear. The machine with the two,632 profiles was bought by Rhino Commerce, a surplus tools firm in Texas. The corporate’s treasurer, David Mendez, mentioned it had purchased the SEEK II at an public sale of presidency tools and didn’t understand a decommissioned army machine would have delicate information on it.

“I hope we didn’t do something improper,” he mentioned.

The SEEK II with the American troops’ info got here from Tech-Mart, an eBay vendor in Ohio. Tech-Mart’s proprietor, Ayman Arafa, declined to say how he had acquired it, or two different units he bought to the researchers.



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