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back to article The Man Who Stole Greece: Cuffed chap had data on most of country

Greek police have cuffed a suspect who allegedly stole personal data of three-quarters of the country's population as part of an attempted industrial-scale ID theft scam. The unnamed 35-year-old computer programmer is suspected of attempting to flog nine million records containing ID card data, addresses, tax identification …

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Anonymous Coward

Those pesky datas...

"We are investigating what the source of the data was and how they were used by the man arrested, and also the possibility of him providing them to someone else," police spokesman Christos Manouras told reporters.

Am hoping that was just a translation error...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Those pesky datas...

I fear you've out-pedanted yourself. The word 'data' is plural, the singular being 'datum'.

Oh, and the 25% of the population whose data the scamp failed to get may well mostly be children who wouldn't have cars or be liable for tax.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The word 'data' is plural

Yes, plural in the same way that 'money' is plural -

Q."Where did you get that money?"

A. "I earned IT"

(am aware that some languages might reply "I earned THEM", but not English)

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Silver badge

Re: Those pesky datas...

"Oh, and the 25% of the population whose data the scamp failed to get may well mostly be children who wouldn't have cars or be liable for tax."

In Greece, no one is liable for tax.

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: The word 'data' is plural

Several datum can, together, be considered a set of data. In general usage, the inference would normally be that it is the set (singular) of many datum that are being referenced. "I need that (set of) data as soon as possible!"

Datum as a singular tends not to get used in popular speech, the same way trouser or scissor also tend not to get used. The usual reference is (set of) data, or (pair of) trousers, or (pair of) scissors.

Also your posited question already has a singular reference, inviting the singular response; "that money" instead of "those moneys/monies".

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/money shows money to be considered a singular rather than plural noun. Since I can certainly recall personal instances of hearing people use monies/moneys in speech, I see no reason to doubt the entry's veracity.

An interesting aside would be how you would instinctively try to describe the need for several unconnected data sets... could you see yourself ever asking someone for "those data"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The word 'data' is plural

So this statement is correct use of English:

"We are investigating what the source of the data was and how THEY were used by the man arrested, and also the possibility of him providing THEM to someone else" ?

While the following sentence is pure nonsense:

"We are investigating what the source of the data was and how IT was used by the man arrested, and also the possibility of him providing IT to someone else" ?

Get real.

As far as the use of 'that' inviting singular response, maybe i should have used 'the' to avoid confusion.

I think my original point was clear.

"Monies"? Cash Prize? Dubious Nigerian scams? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8LYbEIA0dA

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Those pesky datas...

As the AC at 16:06, I confess that I have no particular objection to the word 'data' being treated as singular (even though I know it's wrong).

My point was that OP was criticising the (translation of) the Greek plod's statement for, well, being correct.

I think in future I'll tell people, despite their almost certain lack of interest, that the plural of data is datae.

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Anonymous Coward

Money is a mass noun, isn't it?

You don't have "a money".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Those pesky datas...

Websters Dictionary says "now usually with singular verb", and the Oxford English Dictionary recognises singular usage, all be it with the disdain of a pedantic old-fashioned classicist.

So it appears that on balance it is more correct to treat 'data' as singular. If you really want to use a plural verb, why not say "datums"? Then it's unambiguously correct.

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Anonymous Coward

It's Latin, innit?

Uncultured swine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Money is a mass noun, isn't it?

No no, I don't have " any money "

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Anonymous Coward

THE source of the leak? Don't count on it.

Wouldn't be the first time someone started with a little and industriously expanded it until it had more bits of data on more people than the government has, however fragmentedly, and in one place.

It's not difficult, it's just a lot of work. Oh and it's generally not allowed, but who cares about that anyway? The collected 1200-odd TLAgencies in the USoA certainly don't. As long as it's "anti-terrist" it's all good. As soon as you try to sell it... you'd better be trying to sell it to the taxman or you're going to get to stay in the big house.

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Silver badge

Stole it or bought it?

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I am sure

there is a joke about "Trojans" that can be told here.

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Anonymous Coward

That was a Greek scam too, don't forget.

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Devil

Re: I am sure

The modern Trojan Horse was the dodgy accounts that let the Greek hordes penetrate Fortress Europe and pillage the German treasury. Of course, that deal also included a lot of data sharing, so the Greek chappie in question may have had access to more than just Greek data.....

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Anonymous Coward

He is just not capable of doing it, is he?

The evidence clearly shows, that it is simply not possible for John Leyden to arrange words in a way that actually makes sense.

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Joke

Sure, but Greece? What credit agency is going to offer credit to someone dependent upon the Greek economy?

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Go

opportunity

Does he want a job on the large business department of HMRC?

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Silver badge

Bah!

Wouldn't assuming a Greek ID be on a par with half-inching a bankrupt's mortgage?

Well done that man for stealing quite possibly the least marketable assets ever harvested.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought he died alone ...

a long, long time ago.

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Snooping

Of course, nothing like that would happen in the UK. The government's snooping charter, making records of who mailed who and what websites were visited is perfectly secure and would never be breached........er.........click! Ah, that's better. Managed to force-shut-down cynical mode.

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