Data BreachBy WYATT EMMERICH,
Santa assures children that hacked wish lists won’t stop him
THE NORTH POLE is being rocked by rumors of a critical data breach caused by hackers who may have stolen Santa’s Toy Wish List and the Nice and Naughty List.
In addition, the North Pole is battling another new challenge. Big Data companies are using personal data from online activity to market toys to parents and children weeks before Santa’s scheduled delivery.
The Northside Sun has received reports from boys and girls who revealed their toy wishes while sitting on Santa’s lap only to find the same toys appearing on pop up ads on various websites shortly thereafter.
“We have no idea how this happened,” the child’s mother reported. “We think maybe a cell phone app secretly recorded these private Santa conversations. Or maybe the Alexa did it. It is most disturbing.”
Santa’s Chief of Elves released a statement warning parents not to fall for the targeting advertising. “Remember, Santa will be bringing all the good boys and girls the toys for free, so don’t get sucked into this online advertising scam.”
Contributing to the problem is the hack of the Nice and Naughty List. Unscrupulous marketers are sending malicious emails and texts scaring children and parents into thinking they are already on the Naughty List. The emails suggest parents need to purchase toys in advance online or else there will be no toys on Christmas Day. Then endless pop up ads start with all the Wish List toys.
The crisis has reached a point where Santa Claus himself has released a statement: “The Nice and Naughty List belongs solely to me and Mrs. Claus. Anyone alleging to know who is naughty and nice, other than us, is in violation of the Christmas Spirit Act. We will take action. Besides, we have special magic that will scramble the nice and naughty list, so these hackers are in for a big surprise.”
Nevertheless, the evil ploy seems to be working. Amazon is being flooded with orders from desperate parents fooled into thinking their children have already been designated naughty.
Santa said in his statement, “ It seems like every parent out there is falling for this naughty scam. They all seem to think their children really are on the naughty list. I don’t understand why. Almost all the children on the naughty list get the Christmas Spirit and do something sweet at the last minute and get their Christmas Day toys.”
Congress announced that Facebook and Google are under investigation for trying to track children’s online activity and market them toys Santa is already busy making them for Christmas.
Facebook executives have hired the New York law firm, Dewey, Cheatam and Howe, to represent the company before Congress. Facebook CEO Will Suckyerdata said, “The notion that we would track childrens’ toy searches is ridiculous. We don’t track anybody, much less children. We are only here to enhance global connectivity and world peace. Making money by spying on children is the furthest things from our minds.”
Suckyerdata responded to a recent Facebook video of a fake pop up Santa telling children. “Ah c’mon. It’s me Santa. You can tell me what you want for Christmas. I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”
Suckyerdata said Facebook has no idea where the video came from, but he suspects it was a diabolical plot by the Grinch to steal Christmas.
Meanwhile, Google is grappling with their own scandal. Apparently, bots using artifical intelligence have been scraping Gmail accounts to find any and all emails from children to the North Pole.
The emails are allegedly scraped to find toy wishes. Parents and children are then bombarded by email spam and pop up ads trying to get parents to buy the toys online.
Santa’s Chief of Production, May B. Lee, said the North Pole production has never been better. Special magic software is boosting production like never before.
“These online companies brag about free two-day shipping,” Elf Lee said. “How silly. Santa invented free shipping. And we bring it right down the chimney and place it under the tree. I don’t think UPS or Fedex can top that.”
Santa uses a propriety magic called time division multiplexing. By dividing each moment of time into and infinite number of discrete units for each boy and girl, Santa and his reindeer are able to deliver toys to all the good boys and girls all over the world in just one night.
In fact, due to software upgrades, Santa and his reindeer broke the all-time Christmas delivery time record by a whopping five minutes, including cookie and reindeer food breaks at every stop.
In an exclusive phone interview with Santa, the Northside Sun asked Santa if he was worried by Grinch hackers or Big Data spammers.
“First of all,” Santa said, “Newspapers are a great way to stop all this hacking and spamming. Never saw a newspaper copy hacked or tracked or spammed. I like the traditional way of doing things. The Northside Sun’s Letters to Santa (in this week’s edition) are the best way to let me know what to bring on Christmas Day.”
“Second,” Santa told the Sun. “Our Elf magic is way more powerful than a bunch of computer code. Like newspapers, we’ve been around for hundreds of years. We’re not going anywhere. Santa has always prevailed over all kinds of challenges.”
As the phone line started to get crackly, probably from some North Pole snowstorm, we asked Santa if he had any other final words for the good boys and girls.
“As a matter of fact, I do,” Santa said, “Ho! Ho! Ho! and Merry Christmas!”