UvA students in Amsterdam have been able to trace the private number of Prime Minister Rutte during a lecture led by internet expert Henk van Ess. "And we also found numbers from other cabinet members," says Van Ess. For the time being, the prime minister reacts quite laconic.
The telephone number was found yesterday by students of the UvA during a guest lecture, organized by research platform Bellingcat. In addition to the Prime Minister's private 06 number, the numbers of other cabinet members were also outdated by a few clicks today.
Recruitment tool from the USA
"It was very simple," says Van Ess. "I was explaining to the students a special recruitment tool that gives you access to this tool through a special website, which was developed by Americans and used by recruiters.The tool collects all sorts of data about people Recruiters use to collect information quickly for people who want to recruit them for a possible job The details of our prime minister were also included in this database. "
This was what the students thought:
How did the Prime Minister's data end up in the tool? Van Ess thinks that the following has happened:
"When you download an app, you often have to agree to terms and conditions, and when you do that, you unconsciously share all kinds of information about yourself – all of that data reaches the app makers, who then share that information with the developers of the recruitment tool, which is probably the case with Mark Rutte. "
Text to the prime minister
After the find, Henk van Ess immediately sent a text message to the Prime Minister to inform him. "The Prime Minister almost immediately called me back, but I missed his call."
The internet expert then had contact with an official from the Ministry of General Affairs. This afternoon there was also telephone contact. "I have shared all the secret numbers of the cabinet with the ministry." According to Van Ess, the prime minister was 'alarmed' that this happened.
'Do not change number directly'
Prime Minister Rutte responded to the news during his weekly press conference. The prime minister confirms that he received a text message from Van Ess and that there has been contact. "After all, he had my number", the prime minister joked.
"It's very nice that the gentleman sent that text and I do not know exactly where my number is." There will be further contact about it. When asked if the Prime Minister is worried that his number is online, he reacts fairly laconic. "So many people have that number, and in the worst case, I need a new number, we'll see it."