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New Zealand

Gun buyback privacy breach: Police reveal number of victims

Newshub logoNewshub 3/12/2019 Scott Palmer
a man holding a gun: German software giant SAP has apologised to New Zealand after a massive data breach. © Image - Getty + The AM Show; Video - Newshub German software giant SAP has apologised to New Zealand after a massive data breach.

Police have revealed the number of Kiwis affected by the gun buyback privacy breach.

On Monday, Police said they were aware a massive data breach on the web page used to collect gun owners' details had revealed names, addresses, dates of birth, and bank account numbers.

On Tuesday, they said 35 people had their full details accessed, and "less than 500 people" have had their names and addresses accessed.

"Today we will be calling the 35 people who have had their full details accessed to inform them of the privacy breach, provide advice on what they can do to ensure the ongoing security of their information and answer any questions they may have," Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said in a statement today.


"In addition to the phone call we will also be contacting the group of less than 500 people who have had their name and address accessed to inform them of the situation."

According to Dep Cmmr Clement, the breach occurred when an update to the database - which was not authorised by police - gave a group of gun dealers more access to the database than they were supposed to have.

"Upon being notified all efforts were made to immediately shut down access to the platform," he said yesterday.

"We believe this was an isolated incident and made possible due to human error."

a screenshot of a cell phone © Provided by Newshub

The Council of Licenced Firearms Owners told Newshub gun owners who had used the site may need to increase their security.

"They were able to screenshot and download information. This means that gang members or other criminal elements could have accessed this information before our supporters found the breach," a spokesperson says.

"Keep an eye on your bank account - possibly notify your bank to stop unusual transactions. You may consider whether you should take extra personal and home security precautions.

Dep Cmmr says only one dealer logged in and accessed people's information, and they've confirmed this hasn't been used in any way.

"Anyone who has concerns in regard to the security of their firearms as a result of this privacy breach can call 0800 311 311 and speak with our staff about how the firearms can be handed over to Police," he said in Tuesday's statement.   

Police have confirmed that the buyback programme is continuing and will be completed using a manual process.

And Police Minister Stuart Nash said he's still confident in the buyback scheme and doesn't see the need to start from scratch, despite calls for his resignation.

"I think it's going incredibly well so far," he said at Monday's post-Cabinet press conference alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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