12,000 exposed to possible ID theft after Jeb Bush publishes emails

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 , ESET

  • fno254

    Here’s to hoping that maximum fine is $500 per record published…

  • Robert.Walter

    Is this a leading indicator of the foresight and caution he would exercise as Commander in Chief? Pretty lame performance for what was an act with low-hanging implications.

  • Coyote

    If only Jeb Bush fully realised that once on the Internet it really is there forever, no matter how much (you) might wish otherwise. More people would do well to understand this. Maybe if Bush is elected he can encourage congress to to create a new department that spams citizens with the same message? You know, sort of like what is possible to these folks. Obviously the how would be bad but the message itself is certainly something that would serve many well: once on the Internet it is on the Internet forever, full stop.

    Okay, it was redacted. But it is still on the Internet forever. I’ll not say too much more here, because I personally have strong ethics and am huge advocate for privacy (that is an understatement)… but redacted at the source is not enough. I hope he is proud of his staff’s blunder.

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