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Barack Obama's Passport Details Shared in Privacy Mix-Up: Report

The Guardian reported that an immigration officer inadvertently sent the personal details of leaders attending last Novembers G-20 summit to the wrong person.
Image: Barack Obama
President Barack Obama while while speaking about violent extremists at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington. Jacquelyn Martin / AP
/ Source: NBC News

President Barack Obama's passport number and personal details were accidentally revealed — along with those of other world leaders — by Australia's immigration agency, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The Guardian reported Monday that an immigration department officer inadvertently sent the personal details of leaders attending last November's G-20 summit to organizers of the Asian Cup football tournament. The immigration department then recommended against informing those affected about the privacy breach, according to the newspaper.

Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron were among the world leaders whose details were shared in the mix-up. Their offices were not immediately available for comment.

The personal information revealed in the mix-up included names, birth dates, passport numbers and visa numbers, The Guardian reported. The newspaper posted an email from the immigration department notifying Australia's privacy commissioner of the breach, which it said was due to "human error."

The immigration department recommended world leaders not be made aware of the breach, according to the email shared by The Guardian.

“Given that the risks of the breach are considered very low and the actions that have been taken to limit the further distribution of the email, I do not consider it necessary to notify the clients of the breach,” the email reads.

— Cassandra Vinograd