An Australian government official made the mistake that is every office workers’ nightmare: an autofill mistake causing an email to go to the wrong person.
Except in this person’s case, the mistaken email exposed the personal details of 31 world leaders, including President Obama.
“The cause of the breach was human error,” said an email sent to the Australian privacy commissioner and obtained by The Guardian under freedom of information laws.
The accidental email went to organizers of the Asian Cup soccer tournament. It had the details of all top leaders that had attended the G-20 summit, an annual global policy meeting.
“[Redacted] failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person’s details into the email ‘To’ field,” the email continued. “This led to the email being sent to the wrong person.”
The exposed data included not only names and dates of birth, but passport numbers and visa details as well.
On Monday, White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters the administration is “looking into [the reports], and we’ll take all appropriate steps necessary to ensure the privacy and security of the president’s personal information.”