Experts say online privacy nearly impossible - WNEM TV 5

Experts say online privacy nearly impossible

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The massive hacking scandal that released 32 million users email has now hit the federal government.

Approximately 15,000 emails released by hackers from the site Ashley Madison appear to be traced back to U.S. government accounts. Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirming the Pentagon is now investigating.

"Of course it's an issue because conduct is very important," Carter said. "Conduct is very important and we expect good conduct."

The state police are also investigating after emails from the department were discovered in the data leak

For those interested in an extra-marital affair, the site claims it's 100 percent discreet.

But some experts said providing complete privacy is nearly impossible.

And in the case of Ashley Madison, privacy didn't appear to be a top priority.

"They didn't make it a priority enough – clearly because they got hacked," said Jonathan Friedman.

Fried, an entrepreneur and software consultant said the company was able to protect some information, but not enough.

"In a lot of ways they weren't terrible," Friedman said. "They didn't save all the credit card data. You don't actually have credit card numbers lying around the database. That's actually a pretty standard practice and it's good."

And as far as those emails, Ashley Madison has no email verification process, leaving Friedman wondering how many of the accounts are actually real.

"At the end of the day Ashley Madison clearly wasn't sending their user's emails," Friedman said. "The only reason why a company requires you to verify your email is they want to make sure you are a real person. Ashley Madison doesn't care as long as you're paying, it appears."

Friedman said the takeaway here is there is no such thing as online privacy.

"This is the big takeaway every time one of these big hackings happen, which is now pretty common, you need to be really careful with your data and there really is no safety or security online anymore," Friedman said. "I don't think there ever was."

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