Jeb Bush Is Sorry He Published Your Social Security Numbers

Illustration for article titled Jeb Bush Is Sorry He Published Your Social Security Numbers

The man who signed Florida's Stand Your Ground law is now awkwardly moonwalking backwards on an initially indiscriminate data-dump. Presidential hopeful and former Florida governor Jeb Bush is doing some damage control on his decision to publish his gubernatorial emails, which provided easy access to over 12,000 social security numbers from people who had written the governor emails.


JebEmails, the website created by Bush's team to allow people to comb through more than 300,000 emails the former governor received in office, was meant to highlight the 2016 contender's tech savvy and commitment to transparency.

Instead, it highlighted how oblivious Team Prez Bush 3 is about privacy. Whoever came up with this genius moved dropped the ball big-time in the thinking-things-through department. Due to Florida's Sunshine laws, anyone could've requested the emails from Bush's eight-year stint as governor. But this project provided an easily searchable database for these emails and the sensitive information they contained, inadvertently creating a tool for identity theft. His team is now redacting the SSNs it published.

Most of the exposed numbers (roughly 12,500) came from a spreadsheet attached to an email, meaning most of the people screwed over weren't just randomly messaging their personal information to the then-governor. The bulk of the social security numbers were from a PowerPoint email attachment about people on a family services waiting list.

Anyone who downloaded the original email files made available last week still has access to the SSNs and other personal identifying information from the people who wrote in, so there's still concern that the email dump may lead to fraud; it's too late to put that personal information-sharing genie totally back in the bottle. [The Guardian via The Verge]

Image via AP Images


Yeah let's all make sure no government official ever again makes their correspondence easily accessible. Such an evil and idiotic thing to do. Only the WSJ and NYT can have those emails, after fighting for years and paying a fortune, and then they and only they can decide what information is important and who to disseminate it to.