Data breaches are nothing new, but those occurring over the past few years have certainly pushed the discussion into the mainstream – a string of high-profile incidents hitting the likes of Equifax, Yahoo and Facebook have seen billions of records containing sensitive user data exposed.
Who Watches the Watchmen?
It’s growing increasingly difficult to trust that companies can simply patch an overlooked vulnerability and move on with pristine security hygiene. Since the Cambridge Analytica catastrophe, Facebook has been repeatedly hit by further attacks resulting in the compromise of its users’ accounts. The effects are by no means contained to the platform, either – a malicious actor having gleaned the username/password combination for a given user may very well succeed in accessing their accounts on other websites. Estimates vary from survey to survey, but it’s thought that the majority of individuals reuse passwords across sites.
It’s easy to point the finger at a business whose database has been breached by cybercriminals. Indeed, even governments have begun to sanction companies that fail to adhere to stringent data protection regulations aimed to secure customer information. One has to wonder, however, how much of the blame can be put on these entities when the problem is evidently a symptom of a fundamental flaw at the infrastructure level. No architecture is perfect, and having multiple developer teams working on large amounts of code is a recipe for the creation of bugs to be later exploited.
A Systemic Oversight
At the root of the issue lies the very practice of users sharing their data. In order to interact with virtually any company that keeps digital records, customers must surrender a questionable amount of data, ranging from card details and physical addresses to social security numbers and identity documents. The most basic identity information that almost every personalized site asks for is

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