Costa Rica’s Social Protection Board (JPS) will initiate an investigation to verify if there was a database breach after receiving several complaints from people who had received emails from an electoral candidate after buying electronic lottery tickets.
The complaints arise after several people received an email from the campaign of the deputy of the Partido de Liberación Nacional (PLN) party and candidate for president Carlos Ricardo Benavides. According to the email recipients, which included Benavides’ electoral proposals, they were sent after playing the electronic lottery.
However, although the JPS assured that it has not authorised, transferred or sold the use of its clients’ information, it announced that it will be in charge of studies to determine if there were failures: “[We’ll] investigate this all the way,” the JPS said.
“The veracity of this claim has not been proved, therefore the JPS initiated consultations with the team in charge of the databases of the digital points of sale, to determine the authenticity of this or see if there is any direct relationship with our database,” said the JPS in a statement.
Enrique Sánchez, deputy of the Partido Acción Ciudadana party, requested an investigation to see if Benavides’ campaign violated JPS’ database’s security and the Inhabitants’ Data Protection Agency (Prodhab).
“The irregular data treatment has been the basis of massive disinformation campaigns. Political parties must commit themselves to defending democracy in this data era, avoiding this type of use and complying with the law,” he added, according to El Mundo.
On the other hand, Benavides told local outlet La Nación that the message was sent by a digital marketing agency previously hired by his campaign.
“We don’t manage anyone’s lists or databases, or email information. We simply hired a digital marketing agency, they’re in charge of sending emails. I don’t know which lists or databases they use, it’s something that concerns them. I don’t have more information than that,” he said.