Prepared for Jeffrey D. | Delivered July 29, 2019
Data Breaches Affecting Human Rights
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To develop a list of examples of how a breach of privacy and/or a loss of control of property rights regarding personal data led to a massive violation of their human rights
preferably loss of life or limb for a specific person or group of people.
It may sound like science fiction, but bodily harm is the next frontier in
risk. Even though most
attacks — and computer failures — don’t start out with destructive intent, the unintended consequences of even a simple ransomware attack or systems failure can, and
increasingly will, have physical consequences
The root of this
risk is that computers now control nearly every mechanical process. Cars, for example, have essentially been turned into giant computers. When you apply pressure to the brakes you no longer trigger a mechanical response, but dispatch an electronic signal that travels through the car’s onboard computer.
Any attack or failure that cripples the computer systems of an organization can now
disable critical safety systems
, impair manufacturing processes, or even disrupt access to power, water, coolants or other critical resources.
Perhaps the most direct link between hacking and destruction occurred in a 2015
attack against a German steel mill
, in which hackers disrupted a control system to such a degree that the mill’s blast furnace could not be properly shut down.
A Ukrainian power plant was similarly hacked, resulting in the sabotage of a
regional electricity distribution network
From a 2017 breach of the UK’s NHS to a ransomware attack against Merck later in the same year. Both attacks caused wide-reaching systems shutdowns and, in the case of Merck,
disruptions to the production of numerous medicines and vaccines
Earlier this year systems failures at fertility clinics in California and Ohio resulted in the
damage and destruction of thousands of human eggs and embryos
Your research manager recommends working with a
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