The Social Security numbers of millions of Texas voters were mistakenly given to opposing lawyers by the state attorney’s office as part of a voter ID case.
How many victims? While there were 13 million records handed over, only half contained the full Social Security number of Texas voters.
What type of personal information? Social Security numbers, though they were encrypted and password protected.
What happened? After lawyers challenged the voter ID law in Texas, the state was ordered to give them a voter database for analysis. State Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office inadvertently handed over the personal records of 13 million Texas voters, half of which included full Social Security numbers.
What was the response? The state attorney’s office dispatched a state police officer to New York, Washington D.C., and Boston to retrieve the encrypted disks.
Details: The records were given to opposing lawyers on password-protected, encrypted disks. The error was brought to light by an analyst who opened the disks.
Quote: “At no time were these Social Security numbers exposed to the public,” First Attorney General Daniel Hodge said.
Source: chron.com, The Houston Chronicle, “Texas AG releases voters’ Social Security numbers in mix-up,” April 25, 2012.