Texas Official Must Talk About Data Leaks

(CN) – A state judge ordered the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to comply with a request for a deposition on the leak of personal information of more than 3.5 million people.

     Comptroller Susan Combs disclosed in April that the personal information of 3.5 million state employees and former employees had been stored on a publicly accessible computer server for about a year.
     Travis County Judge Rhonda Hurley ruled on Monday that Combs must submit to questions about the leak from the Texas Civil Rights Project.
     “The court finds that the likely benefits of allowing the depositions to investigate a potential claim outweigh the burden or expense of the procedure,” Hurley wrote.
     The Comptroller’s Office said the records contained names, mailing addresses, Social Security numbers, and to varying degrees dates of birth or driver’s license numbers.
     The information was in data transferred by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
     “I deeply regret the exposure of the personal information that occurred and am angry that it happened,” Combs said in April. “I want to reassure people that the information was sealed off from any public access immediately after the mistake was discovered and was then moved to a secure location. We take information security very seriously and this type of exposure will not happen again.”
     Combs has offered discounts to credit-monitoring services for people whose information was leaked.
     On Tuesday, Combs said she would appeal.
     The Texas Civil Rights Project is represented by Jim Harrington.

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