Scam of the day – March 24, 2015 – Jeb Bush emails put 12,000 people at risk of identity theft

While Hillary Clinton has been criticized for not releasing her emails sent and received during her tenure as Secretary of State, her potential presidential rival, former Florida governor Jeb Bush got into trouble for doing just the opposite.  As evidence of the old saying that no good deed goes unpunished, Bush, in an effort to be totally transparent released all 332,999 emails that he sent and received during the time he was governor of New York.  Unfortunately, some of those emails contained personal information including names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of Floridians thereby putting them in danger of identity theft.  Upon this being discovered, the emails with the personal data were removed, however, if someone downloaded the original files made available a week earlier, they would still have access to this information.  According to Fortune Magazine, the majority of the personal information was contained in a single email attachment from October 2003 that related to people on a family services waiting list.

TIPS

Transparency in how government operates is a good idea that informs the electorate of what their elected officials are doing.  Releasing of emails is a relatively new phenomenon, but as this particular instance shows, a thorough review of emails should be done prior to making public emails in order to make sure that nothing such as personal information that could be used for identity theft purposes or information that would be inappropriate for release such as information that should remain confidential for reasons of national security be released.

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