Many people are itching to find ways to commemorate our late first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. Two such people have even set up a petition to make March 23rd “a gazetted public holiday”.
The website, hosted at LKYday.com, was pulled this morning, due to concerns regarding the personal data that the website seems to be collecting, making people believe that the petition was indeed a scam. It was created on March 29th, a mere few days ago, and according to a Channel NewsAsia article, claims to have already collected 1700 signatures.
The website, also hosted at 1932-2015.org, asks for sensitive information like your email, telephone number, and NRIC (identification number).
According to Channel NewsAsia, one of the organisers of this website, Dr John Lim, the President of Academy of Certified Counsellors, says that the website was frozen because members of the public had complained to the host provider about the collection of NRIC numbers, which drew suspicions.
“The host provider of the website needed to clarify with us whether the petition is a scam. They also pulled it because being a new website, it was receiving a lot of traffic,” said Dr Lim to Channel NewsAsia.
Dr Lim has also said that his wife, who initiated the petition with him, had received this death threat via email, amongst many others. According to their Facebook page, they have made several police reports regarding these threats.
Both the website and Facebook page claim that: “Your information will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any company for any reason whatsoever, without our consent, other than for the purpose of this petition.”
As of an hour ago, the lkyday.com website has been reinstated.
Why You Shouldn’t Give Them Your Personal Details Anyway
While the organizers claim that the petition is a legitimate one, it is not hard to see why people feel suspicious of the website. According to basic online security habits that everyone should have, one of the main things you look out for when a website asks for personal information is a https verification. This means that the website is secure and your information will be safe.
This website, on the other hand, is unverified, meaning that it not only looks dodgy, but it doesn’t have the capability to protect your personal information. While this is usually advice given for sharing credit card details, sensitive information like your NRIC can still be collected by a malicious third party once it is provided to an insecure website.
It’s unclear why the organisers opted against using official petition websites like Change.org that make hosting official petitions easier, but if the organizers are serious about collecting personal information, then security measures should be taken seriously. Best to avoid providing any details you hold dear to you until they sort that stuff out.
(Editor’s Note: Amendments have been made to correct the number of signatures gathered and the URL 1923-2015.org, which is also up and accessible.)