back to article The Handmaid's Tale or Man-made Fail? Exposed DB of 'BreedReady' women probably not as bad as it sounds

An unprotected MongoDB database of 1.8 million women in China has been taken offline after drawing media attention for the inclusion of a data field designating whether the women are "BreedReady." The database was spotted by Victor Gevers, a researcher based in the Netherlands who founded the GDI Foundation, a non-profit …

  1. Lt.Kije

    El Reg, Fair And Balanced!

    Hmm. If we're taking time over linguistic inexactitude, then I'd point out that "shooting fish in a a barrel" means "easy", not "commonplace.

    And, is El Reg growing up? Placing nuance above cheapshots? Whodathunkit.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: El Reg, Fair And Balanced!

      well, consider they DID have THIS article (titled 'How to secure MongoDB') some time ago...

  2. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    If it was just a non-English speaker choosing the wrong word, did they do the same to any other fields?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      I don't know about this case, but on one project I was working on, for a meat processing plant, they use an AutoFOM on the pigs to measure the quality and thickness of various parts of the meat.

      In German, one cut of pork is called "Schweinelachs" or simply "Lachs", which is from the back, I think it is the Loin in English. But "Lachs" literally means Salmon. Therefore, in the database you had all of the correct labels for lean meat, lean without bone etc. and the Salmon.

      When having to use English terms and you are not a native speaker or have only a very rudimentary understanding of English, it is very easy to make such mistakes. Obviously it works the other way as well, my German wife has a lot of fun poking holes in my German.

      1. MJB7 Silver badge

        German mis-translations

        I worked with a German library for reading and writing data from/to the automotive diagnostic port. One of the areas it could report was "Actual Values". (Things like road speed, rpm, fuel consumption, etc) We kept asking why "Actual"? It took ages until somebody who was reasonably fluent in German had an Ah-ha! moment, and realized it was a mistranslation of "Aktuell Wert" - which would be better translated as "Current Values".

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three other guesses

    I figured the 'prepared to have children' option, but let's look at alternatives, keeping to the 'poor english' explanation.

    Bred Already. Is a mother.

    Keeps animals. Likely to buy more in future so consider when calculating rates to breed pets in the area.

    Ideal host for bioweapon incubation, certified by Alex Mercer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Three other guesses

      And one more while I watch a progress bar:

      It's a fertility clinic's database.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I reckon it's a mis-spelling: should read "bleed-ready" i.e. blood-donor...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chingrish

          Or autocorrect

          The developer was trying to say they had one more field to name and they were ready for a beer.

          Autocorrect did the rest...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    “Dystopian forced pregnancy scenarios likely a figment of Western media biases”

    Like the forced mass detention of many Uighurs into re-education centres....

  5. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    Just wondering why the field is needed

    Firstly, you would have to wonder how the database compiler came by the information. Did they ask the people?

    If not (eg, it's not from a dating site or similar), then it's most likely to be a computed field, I think. There are other fields in there that could be the basis for computing this (eg applying an age range), so perhaps that's what has been done.

    (I'm not saying that there is a genuine formula for this, but that someone could have made one up anyway.)

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Just wondering why the field is needed

      Or simply are they over the age of consent?

      Without actually studying the surrounding data, it is impossible to tell. I've worked on enough foreign projects using English terms to know that this sort of mis-naming is very common.

      1. MonkeyCee

        Re: Just wondering why the field is needed

        While we're two countries separated by a common language, the USians have used the term "pre-pregnant" to refer to any fertile woman.

        In that case it was some of the usual controlling bullshit, essentially that if you could potentially have a baby, you should abide by all the expectations of a pregnant mother. So no drinking, no $FOOD depending on cultural norms*, no drugs etc.

        I'm sure urban planners do this all the time. The Dutch are quite effective at it, so while no-one asked if my wife and I were planning to have a kid, being a married couple in a child friendly neighbourhood, I'm pretty sure we we're down as "potential kid" in some planners DB.

        Planning for where new schools and child clinics should be sited being based of where future babies are most likely isn't nearly as creepy as the other possible implications of this DB.

        * compare the advice for pregnant mums in France versus Germany

  6. Trixr

    Yep, I thought the Guardian's reporting of this whole thing was absolute garbage. I assumed that it was a bad translation of "given birth", i.e. a mother. Or some similar thing.

  7. Scott 1


    Someone is applying nuance and common sense in 2019? This cannot stand! Mobilize the army of crazies!

  8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    It could even just be the neutral "of child-bearing age". My (admitted very bad) Cantonese give me 育齡期, which if you read as though it is Japanese is "breeding period".

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020