Pierce County shares thousands of registered voters’ sensitive information
Pierce County officials say the last four social security digits of nearly half a million voters were released to someone through a public records request.
According to the county — the information was sent by accident last month to a person seeking public information on voter records.
The county contacted the person who received the information upon learning of the error. The person who got the data is working with the county as they investigate, deleting all the sensitive data.
The county said the issue was resolved within two hours. A letter was sent to affected voters saying an error like this has never happened before.
“We have confirmed that there was no widespread dissemination of information and no retention or copying of the information by the requester,” the letter reads in part. “This kind of mistake has never happened before, and we have enhanced our protocols to prevent this kind of mistake from occurring again.”
Voters’ names, addresses and birthdates are considered public information. The county must also request a person’s social security number or state-issued driver’s license number when they register to vote. This information is retained but not authorized for public release.
The letter also included information about how people can track their credit score to ensure their identity doesn’t get stolen and steps they could take against “potential misuse of your personal information,” including contacts for the Federal Trade Commission to report suspicious activity and methods to obtain a free credit report.