Florida Elections Division Breached Voter Privacy

Government (U.S.) // Florida, United States

Compact discs containing personal data on high-profile individuals such as law enforcement officials, judges and senior state officials accidentally were sent to citizens in response to open records requests.

A computer program error appears to be responsible for exposing the sensitive information.

Voter registration records, which include names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, generally are public under state law, but “high-risk professionals” can ask to be exempted from disclosures.

“While the incident is still being investigated, it has been determined that the release of the non-confidential information was due to a malfunction in the automated software used to process record extract requests and the department is taking action to prevent future occurrences,” the Florida Department of State said in a March 31 statement.

Recipients of the 15 sensitive CDs have been told to disregard, destroy or return the discs, state officials said. Individuals affected are being notified, the officials added.

“If any fraud, threats or harassment believed to be connected to this incident occur, individuals are encouraged to report such incidents to local law enforcement,” the statement says.