Earlier this year, Guntrader.co.uk experienced a serious data breach which put customers at risk.
Following this data protection failure, 111,295 customer records were published on the dark web. Many Guntrader customers contacted Keller Postman UK and let us know that they no longer felt safe.
Some of the people affected by this data breach were concerned that they could be identified as firearm owners and targeted by criminals interested in acquiring guns. Given the sensitivity of gun ownership in the UK, others were worried that they could become the target of anti-gun groups. As a result, some of the people we spoke to even considered moving home to keep their families safe.
And the fears of Guntrader customers were not just imagined as Google subsequently had to take down a CSV file linked to a Google Earth map that showed the exact locations of their homes.
The map was created by animal rights activists and posted on a blog that encouraged people to “contact as many [gun owners] as you can in your area and ask them if they are involved in shooting animals”. It is not known if this group was responsible for the breach, or if they simply acquired the information. Either way, the consequences could be chilling.
Following the data breach, Guntrader customers were advised to improve their home security, but they did not realise that the precise geographic coordinates of their homes would be posted online.
With the data going back five years, there are now enhanced fears about the safety of the gun owners, as well as for anyone living in a home purchased from a Guntrader customer. One shooter spoke to The Register and said that the geolocation information pointed to his parent’s home and not his own.
The National Crime Agency, “is aware that information has been published online as a result of a recent data breach which impacted Guntrader”. The CSV file has since been removed by Google.
Did Guntrader breach your data?
The Guntrader data breach affected:
- guntrader.co.uk customers registered between 2016 and 17 July 2021.
- Those who made a purchase from a registered firearms dealer/gun shop that used the Guntrader database between 2016 and 17 July 2021.
If you are affected by this breach, Guntrader is legally obliged to let you know. If you have not been told that you are involved, it is worth checking your spam folder in case the notification email has gone there. If you no longer use the email address registered to your Guntrader account, you should contact the firearms dealer to ask if your data has been compromised.
Get compensation for the leak of your private information
Speaking about the worrying development in the Guntrader data privacy violation, Kingsley Hayes, head of data breach at Keller Postman UK said:
“Keller Postman UK has launched several claims against large organisations who have failed their data protection obligations. But as people increasingly become aware of their rights and look to hold businesses to account for data security failures, others question whether data breach claims should be made at all. In particular, I have heard arguments that people shouldn’t claim compensation if they haven’t lost money following a data breach – after all, there is no harm done.
“However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The consequences of a data breach can be devastating for victims. The sheer scale of the information we share on and offline is enough to leave us open to the threat of fraud and identity theft should it get into the wrong hands. And, as with Guntrader, security breaches often become worse over time as the stolen information is put to increasingly disturbing uses.
“Data breaches can be just as problematic when criminals are not involved. Smaller, individual mistakes can cause misery when bank statements, medical records and other personal data is shared with people it should not be – for example, ex-partners, neighbours, or employers. With data hacks and breaches happening more and more often, something must be done to make companies accountable for their failures. Claiming compensation could be the only way to ensure that they implement more secure processes.”
At Keller Postman UK, we have been contacted by many gun owners who are extremely worried about the Guntrader breach and the possible impact. If you are involved in this breach sign up to our Guntrader action. Data Violation