Australian bureaucrat's email flub exposed personal info on Obama, other world leaders

Personal information about Obama, other world leaders, was sent to the wrong email address before G20 summit
(Image credit: Andrew Taylor/G20 Australia via Getty Images)

Last November, before Australia hosted a group of world leaders at a koala-hugging G20 summit, a staffer in the country's Department of Immigration and Border Protection accidentally emailed the passport numbers and other personal information about President Obama and 30 other world leaders to the local organizers of the Asian Cup soccer tournament, The Guardian reports.

"The cause of the breach was human error," the director of the Visa Services Support and Major Events department wrote in an email asking for guidance from Australia's privacy commissioner. The unidentified bureaucrat "failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person's details into the email 'To' field. This led to the email being sent to the wrong person." The compromised information included the "name, date of birth, title, position nationality, passport number, visa grant number, and visa subclass held relating to 31 international leaders," the official noted, adding that the Asian Cup people deleted all copies of the email.

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