This week saw millions of online poker players lose their rights to privacy. Ultimate Bet, the online poker site that was shut down by authorities on Black Friday this year, apparently leaked a long list of players’ personal information, revealing millions of names, addresses, account numbers, and seemingly encrypted passwords. Among those millions of players were hundreds of thousands of Canadians – 319,000, to be exact.
While it’s highly unlikely that Ultimate Bet could have been behind the leak, as the company responsible for protecting these personal details, they are ultimately responsible for what happens to these sensitive files. A number of scenarios are possible – a disgruntled employee could have stolen the list of player details and intentionally leaked it to the public in order to create further scandal, or perhaps a hacker decided to target the trouble online poker site. Whether the information was intended to be made so public is also unknown – perhaps it was illicitly procured with the intent to sell it, only it was leaked before a sale could take place. It’s really anyone’s guess what may have been going on behind the scenes, but the fact remains that millions of players’ information was released without their consent.
Now that Ultimate Bet has been shut down, it’s uncertain how anyone can be prosecuted for this lapse in privacy protection. For any players who fear their information may have been revealed, the only thing left to do is hope that no one who saw it will use it malevolently.