The default permissions on Ubuntu (or even some BSD) distributions for the
/etc/passwd file are 644.
It is pointed out in questions like this that
/etc/passwd is a sort of user database and it is convenient to make it universally readable.
But this file may also contain (possibly) reserved informations about the users in the GECOS field. Shouldn't these informations be anyway protected?
Or is there another way (newer than GECOS) to store ad secure this kind of data?