Atheists appeal to higher power for intercession over alleged sins against privacy

Membership data row ascends to desk of California attorney-general


The Atheist Alliance International, an organisation that works to demystify atheism and advocate for secular governance, has taken legal action it hopes will prove that members’ personal data does not remain in the possession of the rival International Association of Atheists.

The Alliance (AAI) first came to The Register’s attention in February 2021 when a member shared an AAI newsletter that claimed the Association (IAA) – a body founded by former AAI staffers – had taken a member database and was using it to mail AAI members.

The AAI alleged the IAA ‘fessed up to having an ill-gotten file in its possession, so sought proof it had been destroyed.

A new newsletter dated April 6th says talks between the AAI and IAA failed.

“IAA have assured us privately that they are no longer using the stolen email addresses and have not passed it to any third party, however they remain unwilling to formally certify this and that our data has been permanently deleted,” the email states.

“Under the circumstances, we have made a formal complaint to the Attorney General of California and we will now leave the police to investigate the theft and misuse of private data,” it adds.

AAI members may find comfort in the fact that only their usernames and email addresses have fallen into darkness. The Alliance assured members that it does not store more ethereal information such as credit card numbers or passwords on-site, and whoever does hold them has applied devilishly clever encryption to deter would-be sinners. ®

Bootnote. The Register understands that the dataset in dispute lists no members of either the People's Front of Judea or the Judean People's Front.

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