Photo via Sean MacEntee (CC-BY)
On Friday, Wikileaks published nearly 20,000 emails from members of the Democratic National Committee. Along with this massive dump came the personal information of hundreds of citizens.
The massive collection of emails is full of correspondence between Democratic National Committee members, advisers, and PR members. Though these missives have major political consequence, it's the huge number of donation receipts that may have the greatest impact on everyday Americans. A quick search for donation emails yields upwards of a thousand unique emails, and each one contains a treasure trove of personal information.Most of the donor notifications includes the name, address, phone number, email address, occupation, payment type, and partial account numbers of the donor. The emails even include the IP address that the donation was sent from, along with the type of computer and browser that was being used at the time.
The most troubling thing about these donor emails is that most of them are not from massive organizations whose information is already largely available to the public—and who can protect themselves should something go wrong. Average citizens donating modest amounts between $10 and $100 are now seeing their information picked apart by countless prying eyes.
If you're a DNC donor or have been at any point in the past, it's worth giving the database a search for your information. Sadly, it's a simple matter of searching for your own name in the Wikileaks database, and given that every donor email has the individuals name listed first, you'll know very quickly whether you have anything to worry about.
If you find that your personal info is indeed included in one of the leaked emails, there's unfortunately no way to effectively request that Wikileaks remove it, so you'll need to take some measures to protect yourself. Contacting your financial institution and keeping a close eye on your credit card statements is probably a great place to start.