A county in Washington inadvertently released nearly half a million partial Social Security Numbers when responding to a routine public records request in December, according to county officials.
The Pierce County Auditor's Office, which mistakenly released the sensitive data, said in a news release that the human error was quickly spotted and that the person who received the SSN digits deleted them within two hours. The requester had not asked for the personal information.
First let me say that I am incredibly sorry that this happened, Pierce County Auditor Linda Farmer said in statement. Farmer added that this was not a targeted hack, and that "we have taken steps to ensure it does not happen again.
The Social Security number information was included in a routine request for publicly available voter registration data, which typically includes names, addresses and birth dates. Personally identifiable information, including Social Security number information, which can be used to commit identify theft, is exempt from public disclosure.
In a January 17 letter sent to the 463,110 voters affected, Whitney Stevens, the public records officer for the auditor's office, apologised and outlined steps those impacted can take to protect their private information and monitor for fraud.
We have confirmed that there was no widespread dissemination of information and no retention or copying of the information by the requester, Stevens saiid. We encourage you, as always, to remain vigilant and monitor your account statements, insurance transactions, and free credit reports for potential fraud and identity theft, and promptly report any concerns.
What is a Virtual Mobile Number? Benefits, usage and other details
Rationalisation in long-term capital gains tax structure on the anvil
4 out of 5 pregnancy-related deaths in US are 'preventable': CDC
GoM on casinos, online gaming taxation may finalise report in 7-10 days
What is an IMEI number and how does it help protect your mobile phone?
Canada cybersecurity chief warns data-harvesting apps as national security
North Korea received $2.3 mn in humanitarian aid last year, shows OCHA data
Singapore tourism expects to bounce back to pre-Covid level by 2024
US President Biden should be embarrassed by classified docs case: Democrats
Macron calls on France, Germany to become pioneers of Europe refoundation
In response to question from the The News Tribune, spokesperson for Pierce County Libby Catalinich said the county is requiring information to be reviewed by a second employee before it is released to the public.
Catalinich did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)