An open database in China listed the reproductive status status of 1.8 million women, referring to them as "BreedReady" - as well as their phone numbers, addresses, marital status, and education.
The insecure database was uncovered by Victor Gevers, a Dutch internet expert who posted screenshots of it on Twitter over the weekend.
It's unclear if database, which was taken down on Monday, was created by a dating app, the Chinese government, or another company, according to The Guardian.
Gevers, who is the founder of the non-profit GDI.Foundation, said that the youngest girl in the database is 15 years old, and the youngest with the label "BreedReady" is 18. The average age is 32, Gevers said, and all of the women are listed as single, divorced or widowed. About 82% of the women live in Beijing.
In China, they have a shortage of women. So an organization started to build a database to start registering over 1,8 million women with all kinds of details like phone numbers, addresses, education, location, ID number, marital status, and a â€BreedReady" status? ?? pic.twitter.com/fbRKsbNHPJ— Victor Gevers (@0xDUDE) March 9, 2019
The database included fields for education, as well as ones labeled "political," "has video", and links to what appear to be social media.
The term "BreedReady" could be an English translation of a Chinese term meaning a woman is of child-bearing age.
Gevers said he found the database while looking for open databases on Chinese servers, The Guardian reported.
In a Twitter thread about the database, he referred his followers to an Economist video that reported that "a shortage of brides in China is causing major social shifts".
Officials in China have voiced concern over the country's falling birthrate and have attempted to increase it after decades of a one-child policy.
As of 2018, the birthrate was 10.94 per thousand, compared to 12.43 the year prior, according to The Independent.
Gevers told The Guardian that the database, as well as others he has found in Chinese servers, are concerning if they're left unsecured.
"Our primary concern is that it gets secured ASAP," he told The Guardian.
He said he and others were contacting women whose social media pages were linked to the database to see if they were aware of it or if they had registered their information.
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