Nearly half the citizens of France have had their data exposed in a massive security breach at two third-party healthcare payment servicers, the French data privacy watchdog disclosed last week.
Payments outfits Viamedis and Almerys both experienced breaches of their systems in late January, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty revealed, leading to the theft of data belonging to more than 33 million customers.
No banking info, medical data or contact information was compromised, the CNIL added.
“This is the first time that there has been a violation of this magnitude [in France],” Yann Padova, digital data protection lawyer and former secretary general of the CNIL told French radio network Franceinfo.
In the meantime, French officials are warning that the stolen data could be combined with data from other breaches to be used in phishing attacks or social engineering schemes.