Politics

Clerical Error Blamed For Release Of Ga. Voters’ Personal Data

Two women are suing Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office over an alleged data breach, which shared personal information of 6 million Georgia voters.
Two women are suing Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office over an alleged data breach, which shared personal information of 6 million Georgia voters.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office says a clerical error is to blame for a data breach that released personal information of more than 6 million Georgia voters.

Each month, Kemp’s office releases a voter file to some media outlets and political parties. The files contain basic information, such as names, addresses, race and gender.

But last month, those agencies received more than usual.

“One of our IT employees inadvertently included additional information in that file,” said David Dove, a spokesman for Kemp’s office. “That file was transmitted by CD-ROM, and there were only 12 recipients.”

The CD-ROM contained voters’ Social Security and driver’s license numbers. Kemp’s office has asked that the discs be returned.

Meanwhile, two women filed a lawsuit over the breach. Their attorney, Jennifer Auer Jordan, said the mistake could have a huge impact.

“The idea that you can just go pick up a CD and somehow that ends the problem shows a lack of understanding about technology and hacking and exactly what needs to be done to secure data nowadays,” she said.

Jordan’s clients are asking Kemp’s office to notify voters and credit agencies of the breach and to provide credit monitoring for those who request it.

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