Skype gives 16 year old's private info to security firm

Skype has hundreds of millions of users being the biggest VOIP service provider around, so when allegations of misconduct around user privacy begin to emerge, it’s really something to pay attention to. This is exactly what’s happening now after Skype gave a 16-year old’s information to an IT security company without any legal obligation to do so.

The whole story began when Paypal hired iSIGHT Partners, a Dutch cyber security firm, to deal with all the attacks coming from Anonymous over the whole WikiLeaks/Paypal debacle. Joep Gommers, senior director of global research at iSIGHT began researching and eventually got hold of the pseudonym of one of the supposed attackers, a 16-year old Dutch citizen.

Gommers contacted Skype, who incidentally were one of his firm’s clients, and requested the account information of the suspect. Skype handed over the user’s information without any legal obligation to do so. This includes the boy’s user name, real name, e-mail addresses and the home address used for payment.

"You would imagine that subscriber data aren't simply handed over. They have to be provided when the police has a valid demand or court order, but not in any other case" said Gerrit-Jan Zwenne, a professor of Law and Information Society in Leiden. He went on to add he is not sure whether the law allows technology companies such as Skype to simply hand over private information without a court order.

As for Skype themselves they declared they take user privacy very seriously and they only release it when mandated by the courts. According to them they are conducting an internal investigation as to how user data got in the hands of a private firm.

Source: NU.nl | Image from Skype.com

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26 Comments

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Is it even legal? If yes then it should not be. Private informations should be protected. Always. Only a warrant should "un-protect" them.

Microsoft will be POed. A lot of Skype still tries to act autonomous from Microsoft, and this could end that arrangement.

Microsoft holds their contributing partners to a high standard, so for one of their own to violate their privacy standards could be a wake up call for Skype.

Isn't 16 adulthood in the Netherlands? (doesn't cover the warrant but if he is considered an adult it might change peoples viewpoints)

I have absolutely no problem with this. People who think they can be anonymous on the internet and get away with illegal activities deserve to be exposed.

People like you sicken me. You excuse anything from your authority figures and then announce it as it's something to be proud of. You expose you're weakness, ignorance and complete lack of insight into anything beyond you're own scared little pathetic world. Enjoy.

He went on to add he is not sure whether the law allows technology companies such as Skype to simply hand over private information without a court order.

Not much of a professor of law if he is ignorant of EU data protection laws, especially ones pertaining to data of a minor...

"Skype gives 16 year old's private info to security firm"

"a 16-year old Dutch citizen."

Do i miss something or the Title does not make any sense?

Question: is the information leaked 16 years old or the hacker is 16 years old?

[quote=16 year old's ;

[/quote]

I think when its apostrophe then thats suppose to be 16 yrs old boy not 16 yrs old info else it should have read. "Skype gives 16 years old private info"

ultimatescar said,

I think when its apostrophe then thats suppose to be 16 yrs old boy not 16 yrs old info else it should have read. "Skype gives 16 years old private info"

but it also says
" after Skype gave a 16-year old's information to an IT security"

:-?

Brony said,

but it also says
" after Skype gave a 16-year old's information to an IT security"

:-?

I'm not sure what part is causing you difficulty? It says "gives 16 year old's private info". It's pretty clear. It does not say "gives 16 year old private info". It's proper English and is pretty difficult to interpret as 16 year old information.

Maybe I'm misreading this, but it looks like the company had a prior arrangement with them as:

Gommers contacted Skype, who incidentally were one of his firm's clients

Since he is also the director of that company, chances are the person who he spoke to thought it was information regarding work they are doing for them and just handed it over.
Its a mistake made by someone in Skype who either didn't know better or didn't ask the right questions who is hopefully now being reprimanded/fired over this.

To me it doesn't sound like just phone them up and get user information like the article is trying to make out as there was an already existing working relationship.
So lets not overreact here

Teebor said,
So lets not overreact here

Sir, this is neowin.net! Let me break this down for you:

overreaction = anger
anger = comments
comments = views
views = page hits
page hits = $$$$

Sensationalism is a requirement!

Teebor said,
Maybe I'm misreading this, but it looks like the company had a prior arrangement with them as:
Since he is also the director of that company, chances are the person who he spoke to thought it was information regarding work they are doing for them and just handed it over.
Its a mistake made by someone in Skype who either didn't know better or didn't ask the right questions who is hopefully now being reprimanded/fired over this.

To me it doesn't sound like just phone them up and get user information like the article is trying to make out as there was an already existing working relationship.
So lets not overreact here

Wait, you means there's more to the story!??

ascendant123 said,

Sir, this is neowin.net! Let me break this down for you:

overreaction = anger
anger = comments
comments = views
views = page hits
page hits = $$$$

Sensationalism is a requirement!


Oh yes I forget, thank you for the attitude adjustment. Information assimilated and stored

Teebor said,

.. as there was an already existing working relationship.

Not an excuse to give out personal data.
Employee mistake or otherwise, it still reflects on the company.

WTF!!! Microsoft im done with you. After all these years and trying to convince myself that you are the light i now know that little voice in my head is right. You are nothing but another big business.

Iridium said,
WTF!!! Microsoft im done with you. After all these years and trying to convince myself that you are the light i now know that little voice in my head is right. You are nothing but another big business.

Microsoft may now own Skype, but most of the staff at Skype came over from the old eBay company. Chances are it was just a low-level manager that agreed the release, nothing to do with corporate Microsoft at all.

Iridium said,
WTF!!! Microsoft im done with you. After all these years and trying to convince myself that you are the light i now know that little voice in my head is right. You are nothing but another big business.

Microsoft will be more POed about this than anybody. It violates so many of their internal privacy policies that they even hold their 'partners' to, let alone one of their own entities.

Iridium said,
WTF!!! Microsoft im done with you. After all these years and trying to convince myself that you are the light i now know that little voice in my head is right. You are nothing but another big business.

Since MS own Skype this potentially makes them liable for a lawsuit.

peacemf said,
if he's a hacker, then its all good.....that's the motto

Urrm.. innocent until proven guilty? You working for RIAA et al?