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  • State ‘Clerical Error’ Leaves 6 Million Georgia Voters Exposed

    Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp admitted Wednesday his office illegally revealed the personal identification information for over 6 million registered Georgia voters.

    “I take full responsibility for this mistake and have taken immediate action to resolve it,” Kemp said in a statement, reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The employee at fault has been fired, and I have put in place additional safeguards effective immediately to ensure this situation does not happen again.”

    Twelve different organizations—media outlets and political parties—received CDs containing a statewide file of registered voters Oct. 13. Due to a “clerical error” from an IT official, the list also included the personally identifiable information for 6,184,281 registered voters.

    The data included the individual’s complete name, home address, date of birth, social security number, and drivers license number. The leak went unnoticed until Nov. 13, when one of the organizations informed Kemp’s office of the mistake. (RELATED: Feds Pay Out $133.3 Million After Massive Data Breach )

    “As of 11 a.m., all 12 discs containing sensitive voter information have been retrieved or destroyed,” Kemp said today. “My staff has verified with the media outlets and political parties that received these discs that they have not copied or otherwise disseminated confidential voter data to outside sources. I am confident that our voters’ personal information has not been compromised.” (RELATED: Is Your Fridge Giving Away Your Personal Data?)

    As a consequence of the “clerical error,” two Georgia residents, Elise Piper and Yvette Sanders, are bringing a class action suit against Kemp.

    Jennifer Auer Jordan, who represents the two plaintiffs, said in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation that in addition to the risk of identity theft, she was concerned about the lack of oversight and absence of policies to protect voter information.

    Jordan believes that there is a “high likelihood” that the data was saved and shared by the initial recipients, despite Kemp’s claims to the contrary.

    In the suit, Jordan is requesting Kemp’s office notify every voter whose information was leaked and provide them with free credit monitoring. “I believe that the people of Georgia deserve a Secretary of State they can trust to keep their private information safe,” she said.

    After the leak, Kemp says he has taken steps to prevent a similar occurrence from happening again, like instituting a three-part check before a voter file CD can be publicly released.

    “Moving forward, the secure site for voter data downloads will be locked to prevent changes by any employee other than the Chief Information Officer acting at my direction … It is my top priority to protect the personal information of all Georgians,” he said.

    Follow Steve Ambrose on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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