They call it a data “breach” but it was really more of a data “blunder.” Nobody hacked into the Secretary of State’s computers, nobody shoulder-surfed your personal information while you were registering to vote. Somebody in the Secretary of State’s office is getting blamed (and has been fired) for accidentally adding personal information to what’s publicly available in every voter file on all 6.2 million of us registered Georgia voters.
And then sending that information out to folks like the AJC, Georgia GunOwner Magazine, the Democratic Party of Georgia, and Peach Pundit.
But Secretary Kemp is done with letting things slip out of his office, and is now not even releasing publicly available documents: From Kristina Torres in the AJC: “The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has refused to release public documents that likely detail how a massive data breach in the office happened and exactly how outside groups handled more than 6 million voters’ personal information.
Among documents the office will not release because of an ongoing internal investigation are the field notes from investigators describing how 12 organizations handled sensitive data including Social Security numbers and birth dates accidentally given to them on compact discs a month before officials discovered the breach.”
Under state law, they’re allowed to keep those things confidential until the investigation is complete -but this should be the quickest investigation into anything in Georgia history, one in which the investigators say: “Tell us what happened,” and Secretary of State Kemp says: “We tagged private information into a public file, put it on CDs, and sent ’em out.”
That’s what happened. The only part that’s not known is how the discs were retrieved, or how their destruction prior to any further release of personal information has actually been verified.
Kemp’s Republican colleagues have been deafeningly silent on his screw-up, but Democrats have been making as much political hay out of this as possible, especially State Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta. “Didn’t the Secretary of State’s Office complete its investigation before it terminated an employee? And didn’t the Secretary of State publicly state that everything has been corrected? If so, what’s the hold up?”
Valid questions, even in a partisan environment.