Woops! Jeb Bush accidentally publishes Florida residents' personal information -- information that is actually protected under the freedom of information laws.

Imagine if you were planning on running for president and you decided to post all your emails online in an effort to be transparent.  Sounds like a really great idea.  Except for the fact that when you posted the emails, you wound up publishing other people's social security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers - all the sensitive, personal information an identity thief could ever ask for. 

According to The Verge, this is exactly what Jeb Bush did yesterday.  

That's right.  The rumored 2016 Republican front runner published thousands of emails he received during his time as governor of Florida and did not redact a single thing.  

Florida's freedom of information laws are very broad, and Bush references this in the signature of many of his emails: "Florida has a very broad public records law," and "your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure."

However, social security numbers are protected -- they are both confidential and except from public disclosure under state law. 

So what's the penalty for the sensitive data dump?  The Verge reports that in this circumstance, a "noncriminal infraction" is punishable by a fine "not exceeding $500."

Keep in mind, on average, identity theft can cost a victim $1,000 - $10,000.  That's a pretty hefty price someone else has to pay for Jeb's carelessness.  He decided to blame the state officials who gave him access to his emails, stating that they should have blocked out the information before sending it to him.  Then again, the former governor was the one who posted them as-is to his website.

According to the BBC, it took Jeb Bush's campaign team a full day to redact the information they should have redacted in the first place.  He was kind enough to admit to the oversight, and he posted this message to clarify what happened:

So what do you think about all this?  What if someone's identity becomes compromised due this seriously huge mistake?  

- by Jen H., The Off The Grid Team


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