Massive Data Breach

11.25.2015
Representative Scott Holcomb

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my family to yours, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I
hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Secretary of State—Data Breach Update

I want my constituents to be aware of a massive data breach by the Georgia Secretary of State's office. The Secretary of State's Office sent twelve discs containing the private information of more than 6.1 million voters, including social security numbers and birthdays, to media outlets and political parties.

This absolutely should not have happened. What is more troubling is that this wasn't the first time this occurred. The Secretary of State has called this a "clerical error" but it is in fact a massive data breach caused by gross negligence and incompetence. Since this happened, I have been trying to get straight answers from the Secretary of State's Office. The Office has changed its story several times.

First, I was told on Thursday that the Secretary of State's Office received signed, sworn attestations from all of the recipients of the data. I was further told that these attestations stated that either the information was returned unopened, was destroyed, or if it was downloaded, the computer and/or cloud was wiped of the data. I highly recommended that the Secretary of State's Office publish these attestations because they were the basis for Secretary Kemp's public announcement that Georgians don't have anything to worry about.

On Friday, I followed up with the Secretary of State's Office to request that the attestations be made public. I made an official, written request pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act. At 9 PM on Friday, I received a call from the Secretary of State's Office stating that I had received "misinformation" and Secretary of State's Office did not, in fact, have attestations. Instead, they had notes from investigators.

I followed up with the Secretary of State's Office yesterday and was told that they still do not have sworn statements from the recipients, nor have they independently verified that no information was downloaded, and if it was, that is was completely and permanently deleted. So that's where we are.

Based on the assurances from the Secretary of State's Office that we don't have anything to worry about, I held off recommending that my constituents put fraud alerts on credit reports. I've now concluded, based on the lack of transparency and the inconsistent information coming from the Secretary of State's Office, that the prudent course of action is for voters to place fraud alerts with the credit reporting companies.

Here is a link that walks you through the process:

https://www.identitytheft.gov/#what-to-do-right-away

Under step 2, you should place a fraud alert on your credit report. If you place the report with one company, that company will notify the other two (so you only have to place a single fraud alert). As of today, the Secretary of State's office has not stated if it will provide credit monitoring services. This is a basic step that we require of our businesses. Here is a link to the statements from the Secretary of State's office concerning the data breach:

http://sos.ga.gov/elections/statement/statement.html

LaVista Hills Vote


Supporters of the city of LaVista Hills decided against challenging the
election results from earlier this month in court. The LaVista Hills
Alliance has turned over their evidence of possible voting irregularities
or fraud to the Secretary of State's office, which is overseeing an
investigation. For more information:

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/vote-against-
lavista-hills-cityhood-stands/npL7C/



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