Until this morning, senior citizen residents of Bangkok’s Bang Khun Thian could just go to the district office website to find out if they were eligible to receive social security benefits.
There they might have been surprised to find their names, ID numbers, birthdays, banks and bank account numbers listed along with those of more than 2,000 others in a publicly accessible spreadsheet.
The records, the latest in a series of mishandled sensitive data by a government agency, was posted by the district’s welfare department, a representative of which acknowledged the problem Tuesday morning.
“We intended to make it more convenient for people who can’t come to check at the district office,” department chief Piyathida Niyom said. “We’ve known about it since this morning, and we are taking it down.”
As of Tuesday afternoon the file still remained publicly available on the district’s site. According to the list, it contains the names of senior citizens eligible for benefits in 2017 and was last updated Dec. 28.
Locating vulnerable data has become a pursuit of online activists eager to point out vulnerabilities and insecurities in government-run sites since the military government made moves to channel all net traffic through a single point of control – and possible failures.In March, personal details from the immigration bureau about hundreds of expats in a southern province were discovered online.
Since late last year, a series of incidents involving personal information has been leaked online by hacker activists, who claimed to have taken it from vulnerable government systems.The seniors’s records were first publicized Monday afternoon by Twitter user
@bodin.“Thank you Bangkok Metropolitan Administration,” @bodin tweeted. It’s all leaked – IDs, birthdays, bank account numbers. The only thing missing is their passwords for internet banking.”
In a move unlikely to satisfy privacy expectations, Piyathida said her office would replace the database with records containing only names and addresses. Those eligible for benefits would need to call the office and confirm their bank account details, she said.
Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand
Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.
How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability
A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.
The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.
Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.
In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.
While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.
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