Due to the breakdown of a VW North America service provider, partially sensitive customer data was available unsecured on the Internet for nearly a year.
As of current knowledge, VW is assuming that Audi subsidiary customers and potential buyers will be affected, manager Magazin quoted a company spokesperson. The US blog “TechCrunch” had previously reported the data leak.
No known abuse so far
For approximately one year – between August 2019 and May 2021 – about 3.3 million Volkswagens have received names, addresses, telephone numbers and in some cases even Social Security numbers, vehicle identification numbers, VW or Audi customer numbers, dates of birth or customers’ credibility. North America Visible was freely available on the Internet. The leaked information was collected between 2014 and 2019 by a business partner for sales and marketing purposes. Most of the data set — about 3.1 million — are from Audi customers in the United States. Volkswagen did not provide more precise details about how the data leak happened.
The damage caused by the VW business partner’s data leak is still unclear. However, VW is yet to find any signs of data misuse. VW commissioned judicial officers and hired external data analysis and cyber security experts.
VW is in trouble in North America because of customer data accidentally published on the Internet. However, so far, the carmaker has denied the occasional misuse of sensitive data.
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