SwiftKey ‘glitch’ a potential data leak?

SwiftKey ‘glitch’ a potential data leak?

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SwiftKey is a device for both IOS and Android systems such like smart phones and tablets. It has a database that stores commonly used words and phrases used by the owner. When the user is typing, SwiftKey can offer suggestions on what words to use. This can include things like email addresses, names, and phone numbers commonly used.

Last week it was reported that users of SwiftKey had been experiencing problems when using the keyboard. Users of the keyboard reported that they were receiving other people’s suggestions, which also included personal information like email addresses, phone numbers, and names. There were also reports of word suggestions in different languages that users had not used before.

Those that appear to have been mainly affected by these problems are users who had performed a factory reset, or who had installed the app on to a new device. Customers then started to report being unable to access any of their typing data.

A statement was issued by SwiftKey confirming that that synchronisation of the device had been disabled due to users getting other people’s predictions. SwiftKey have since turned off the ability for users to sync to the cloud in order to remove email predictions. During this time, users will be unable to back up SwiftKey’s language model.

SwiftKey claim that there is no issue with security and have only temporarily turned off the cloud syncing in order to update the application.

A breach of data protection?

As users have been receiving other people’s suggestion, which included personal information like email addresses and mobile numbers, this can be seen as the misuse of private information. People who have access to other user’s mobile and email addresses could allow them access to more personal information off the back of that.

If users are able to gain access to other user’s personal information through receiving other people’s predictions and suggestions through SwiftKey, users could potentially become victims of identity theft and fraud. If this was to happen, SwiftKey could be liable for claims.

It also opens up the obvious question about just how serious a ‘glitch’ was this for SwiftKey…

A potential claim?

If you have been a victim of a data breach, you may be able to make a claim. If the data that has been leaked can have negative consequences on a person’s life, they may be eligible for compensation.

With SwiftKey, if a person knows that their personal data has been leaked, they may be able to make a claim. It will often depend on the nature of the information leaked, and if it transpires that anything much more personal has been leaked as well, people may need to claim.

The biggest worry with these types of data breaches is fraud and identity theft. Even an email address and a mobile number could possibly get a criminal far enough to access more information and take advantage of victims.

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