The personal information of more than 8,000 of New York City’s homeless accidentally was leaked in an email Friday, the New York Daily News reported in its Saturday editions.
The email attachment, errantly sent out by an unnamed city Department of Homeless Services employee, landed in the inboxes of an unknown number of homeless advocates and city officials, the paper reported, citing undisclosed sources.
The agency immediately recognized the mistake and sent another email to recipients, asking them to kill the message, which contained the names and Social Security numbers of 8,400 homeless parents.
Department spokeswoman Angela Allen confirmed to SC Magazine this morning that the incident occurred, although she would not immediately release additional details, such as whether the city had notified or planned to notify the victims. She said she planned to research the matter and provide more findings this afternoon.
It also was not immediately clear whether the employee was punished or what, if any, internal department controls are in place to prevent an incident such as this from occurring.
"I know the guy who sent it – he's a good guy and he obviously made an honest mistake," the Daily News quoted one unnamed advocate as saying. "Of course, it is obviously troubling for personal information to get out."