So, apparently, every ward boss in the city has my Social Security number. Fantastic.
Four Chicago residents filed lawsuits Monday alleging their privacy was violated because the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners accidentally released their Social Security numbers along with those of 1.3 million other city residents.
A database file containing the Social Security numbers and other personal data from registered voter files was distributed in late 2003 and early 2004 to about 100 political organizations run by the city’s aldermen and committeemen. About a half dozen copies were also released more recently.
Tom Leach, a spokesman for the board, said it was legal for the information to be released, but the Social Security information should have been deleted. He said the board plans to ask everyone who received copies of the records to return them.
Last fall the board was forced to patch a security flaw on its Web site that had made private voter information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth for more than 780,000 registered voters, vulnerable to online theft.
They sure seem to be downplaying these idiotic mistakes.
In addition to commenting on the city election board’s blunder, let’s use this as a privacy law open thread. What penalties should be involved here? Is there any new legislation you’d like to see introduced?