Privacy: I Will Distract You From Camels And Submarines

Samvel Martirosyan

Media researcher

I wrote a long time ago that there are problems in Armenia related to personal data, from top to bottom and from right to left. And these problems are so serious and profound that in our language there is not even the equivalent of the word privacy, which doesn’t need to be presented in long-thin legal sentences.

And you will say that the author is constantly writing and talking about this topic. But how can I not write all the time, how can I sit and be silent if the situation is getting worse and worse, and the number of people who are interested and worried is almost not growing?

Let’s take another look at what is happening in our republic.

For example, in June. Wonderful weather, a state of emergency, the end of which is not to be seen, of course, an epidemic that has already become an integral part of life. And now, let’s look at what happens with personal data.

The personal data of the people who died from the coronavirus are published on Facebook on June 2.

On June 11, the Azerbaijani hacker group publishes the personal data of those infected with the coronavirus, such as their address, date of birth, passport, mobile phone number.

On June 24, 25 and 26, the Azerbaijani hacker group continues to publish similar data.

In fact, during June, the personal data of more than 5,000 Armenians and guests of Armenia (there were also those on the lists) appeared in open form only. Both medical confidentiality and personal data protection law had been violated.

What happens next? Do state bodies give explanations? Only the security forces are trying to identify the leaks. But the leaks already exist.

Needless to say, it is necessary to find the problems inside to prevent leaks.

The publication of different types of data in two weeks may indicate that there was not a single leak.

Moreover, there is a great possibility that such cases will continue. Because the lists are probably in the hands of many, many more people, most of whom are not even aware of the basic rules of security.

One can guess that the data will continue to delight Azerbaijani hackers, as no one but law enforcement is seriously interested in the topic. The state structures are silent.

And the public prefers to discuss camels in the kitchens or submarines in the mountains.

And now let’s get rid of camels, “native” Yerevanians and imagine something. Armenia is already on the way to the introduction of e-health. It will soon be a reality.

And when the medical data on people are revealed on the Internet, everyone will know about the size and color of every wart and pimple on any part of this or that person’s body.

This, of course, will make Azerbaijani hackers and their fans happier.

And it all starts today. It starts with our indifference to these issues.

Questions about which we have not yet invented a word։ We must either explain long and hard that we are talking about the protection of personal data or use the foreign word “privatutyun,” which causes many different meanings and brings up memories in many people.

In the end, from the point of view of the press, it should be noted that in the case of the first leak, many news outlets gladly published the lists. Later, it seems that the data of the people were not made public.

Let’s hope that the only reason why was not that the lists did not fall into the hands of the editors.

Samvel Martirosyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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