G20 Australia - Leaders

G20 Leaders' Summit. Photograph: Andrew Taylor/G20 Australia

According to The Guardian, the personal details of world leaders attending the last G20 summit were accidentally revealed by the Australian immigration department.

Key political figures such as Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and David Cameron were among the affected by the data breach. 

Human error was the cause of this leak. An employee of the immigration department sent the world leaders' personal information by mistake to a member of the local organizing committee of the Asia Cup.  The employee forgot to check whether the autofill function of Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person's details into the e-mail "To" field. This led to the disclosure of names, dates of birth, nationalities, passport numbers, visa grant numbers and visa subclasses held by 31 international leaders.

What's interesting is that even though the G20 summit took place in November 2014, the information about the breach has been kept under wraps until now. After being informed of the accidental leak by director of the visa services division of the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian privacy commissioner took prompt action to contain the breach. Interestingly enough, the immigration officer also advised the commissioner that the wold leaders' should not be informed of the breach. She wrote:

Given that the risks of the breach are considered very low and the actions that have been taken to limit the further distribution of the email, I do not consider it necessary to notify the clients of the breach.”

The list of those affected by the data breach is long and includes the United States president, Barack Obama, The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the British prime minister, David Cameron, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, the Indian president, Narendra Modi, and the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo.

Source: The Guardian