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Saturday, March 2, 2024 | Back issues
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Voters Sue Georgia Official for Data Breach

ATLANTA (CN) - Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp disclosed the social security numbers and birthdates of more than 6 million voters and did not notify them, voters claim in court.

Elise Piper and Yvette Sanders say Kemp botched a "voter file" that he maintains and distributes monthly to certain media members and political parties that are exempt from paying for it.

The two women filed a class action lawsuit against the state official in Fulton County, Ga., Superior Court on Tuesday.

Kemp's list of registered voters usually only includes voters' full name and address, but earlier this month he sent out a database that included more sensitive information, according to the lawsuit.

"The CDs were received by certain members of the media, the political parties and others on or about Monday, November 9, 2015," the complaint states. "Upon receipt, it was discovered that the voter file not only included the names and addresses of Georgia's 6,184,281 registered voters, it now also disclosed the social security number, driver's license number, and date of birth for these 6,184,281 registered voters."

Kemp also failed "to provide the required statutory notice of the breaches of security that occurred after his office released voters' personal identifying information," the lawsuit claims.

Piper and Sanders say they were among the voters whose information was compromised. They are represented by Jennifer Jordan of Shamp Speed Jordan Woodward in Atlanta.

The lawsuit's proposed class includes anyone registered to vote in Georgia as of Oct. 31.

In a statement, Kemp blamed a "clerical error" for the data breach.

"Our office shares voter registration data every month with news media and political parties that have requested it as required by Georgia law," he said. "Due to a clerical error where information was put in the wrong file, 12 recipients received a disc that contained personal identifying information that should not have been included. This violated the policies that I put in place to protect voters personal information."

Kemp said his office contacted each recipient to retrieve the discs.

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