By now, everyone’s heard about the massive Sony hack and data dumps with tons of their corporate and employee information. Many of you may also have read news articles quoting from dumped emails or containing titillating personal information. I’ve covered some aspects of the breach over on DataBreaches.net.
But you haven’t read any of it on PogoWasRight.org and you haven’t read dumped e-mails on DataBreaches.net or PHIprivacy.net because reproducing dumped materials may victimize those whose privacy has already been compromised by the hackers.
Evan Selinger articulates the ethical issues about publishing the hacked material in an opinion piece on CS Monitor that is well worth reading.
Yes, there is material in the dumped data that are newsworthy – such as evidence of gender pay gaps in the industry. And I can justify publishing any emails from corporate about their infosecurity and decision-making on data security as that would be relevant to the breach.
But the bulk of the data – like nasty comments about actors or employees’ personal information – well, no. Just no.
I don’t expect most journalists to adopt the same standards PogoWasRight.org uses. But then, they’re not privacy advocates.