Volkswagen has found itself in hot water multiple times in the last few years, most notably for dieslegate scandal where it was cheating emissions. Volkswagen has now announced another problem with a data breach at a vendor that has impacted more than 3.3 million customers and potential customers in North America. Almost all of the information leaked was of current or potential customers of Audi, which is owned by VW.
Volkswagen Group of America announced the breach on Friday. The automaker said that an unauthorized third party obtained limited personal information about customers and interested buyers via a vendor that Audi Volkswagen brands and some US and Canadian dealers use for digital sales and marketing.
The data leaked in the breach was gathered for sales and marketing between 2014 and 2019. VW says the data was left in an electronic file that the vendor had left unsecured. Volkswagen says that most of the customers whose information was leaked only had their phone numbers and email addresses potentially impacted. However, in some instances, data leaked also included information about a vehicle purchased, leased, or inquired about.
Out of the 3.3 million customers to solve information leaked, about 90,000 Audi customers and prospective buyers had their sensitive personal information related to purchasing or leasing eligibility leaked. Audi has promised those 90,000 users free credit protection services.
The automaker also notes that sensitive data in more than 95 percent of cases included driver’s license numbers. A small number of users also had highly private data, including birth date, Social Security number, and account numbers leaked. The automaker does say that a small number of users is entirely located in the US. No one in Canada has their sensitive information leaked.