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Possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has has had to retroactively redact over 12,000 personal details from emails published in the name of transparency.
The former Florida governor released the cache of 332,999 emails sent and received during his eight years in office for transparency. However, the files contained around 12,500 personal details of members of Florida’s population, including names, birthdates and social security numbers – what The Guardian describes as “the three pieces of information key to identity theft.”
Bush’s office removed the files from his website on Tuesday after privacy concerns were raised, but copies are still circulating, “raising identity theft concerns for the thousands of citizens involved.”
As Gizmodo points out, “Anyone who downloaded the original email files made available last week still has access to the SSNs and other personal identifying information from the people who wrote in, so there’s still concern that the email dump may lead to fraud.”
According to Fortune, the majority of the exposed numbers come from a single PowerPoint email attachment about people on a family services waiting list, dated from October 2003.
On Thursday, the Bush team announced that the emails had been fully redacted. “We have redacted every account that we have found,” said spokesperson Kristy Campbell.
The Verge states that lawyers believe the failure to redact the personal information before releasing the emails may have been a violation of state laws, though if charges were pressed, the maximum fine would be just $500.
Author Alan Martin, ESET