Registered drone users left able to see list in data breach

Aviation body says once notified of problem it worked to have system fixed within hours

The Irish Aviation Authority has apologised for a data breach involving its drone register. File photograph: Getty Images

The Irish Aviation Authority has apologised for a data breach involving its drone register. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A data breach at the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) resulted in all registered drone users being able to access the names and contact details of others who own the devices.

The authority confirmed on Wednesday a technical problem with its drone register had been corrected.

It said that once it was notified of the problem at 11pm last Sunday, it had worked with its supplier CGH Technologies to have the system taken offline, fixed, tested and restored within two hours.

“No financial or personal information was available as it was not stored on the system and only those already registered had access to the information. The system was not hacked and no unauthorised access was gained by the general public,” the authority said.

There were an estimated 5,000 drones in Ireland as of last year, but the numbers registered were widely expected to increase as they have become popular as gifts.

The IAA said it had informed all those drone owners on the register of the issue and had been in contact with the Data Protection Commissioner.

Request to destroy material

It had asked the drone owners on the register who unintentionally accessed the information to destroy any material they may have downloaded.

The authority said it was grateful to them for notifying it of the issue and for their cooperation.

“The IAA apologises to all those on the register for this problem and assures them that it has been resolved and will not happen again.”

New laws were unveiled last December to cover the use of drones, or unmanned aircraft.

A rise in consumer demand and availability, along with rapidly advancing commercial applications made the introduction of safety regulations essential.

From December 21st, all drones weighing 1kg or more must be registered with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

Regulations, which will be enforced by gardaí, prohibit their use in areas where they endanger other aircraft, over a group of people, or more than 300 metres from the operator.