Suffolk Co., NY Posts 250 Partial SSNs OnlineFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2008
Media Contact: Aaron Titus
HAUPPAUGE, New York. On or before May 22, 2007 (and as early as March 22, 2007), the Suffolk County Government Civil Service posted the names and last four digits of 250 individuals' social security numbers on their website. The file appeared to be a copy of an old database related to the "CF Police Lottery." The Liberty Coalition discovered the file and notified the county government on December 14, 2007. The file was not deleted from the county server until January 30, 2008, after a second notification by the Liberty Coalition.
Following the second notification, a county representative contacted the Liberty Coalition and pledged that Suffolk County plans to change its procedure, and stop using partial SSNs as an identifying number.
The last four digits of the social security number is used by businesses to extend credit, and financial institutions sometimes use it as a password. By placing this information online, Suffolk County has placed these individuals at an elevated risk of identity theft.
Individuals affected by this exposure should immediately visit www.nationalidwatch.org and search for their names, to confirm what types of personal information were exposed. NationalIDWatch.org has a list of recommended steps victims should take.
National ID Watch is a search engine for personal information breaches. Sponsored by the Washington, DC non-profit Liberty Coalition, NationalIDWatch.org provides more than a million free personalized Identity Exposure Reports™ as a public service.
Each Identity Exposure Report (IXR) documents what types of personal information were exposed (such as Social Security Numbers, Birth Dates, Addresses, etc.), without revealing them. Each IXR also details the situation surrounding each exposure, and contact information of those responsible for the breach. Armed with this information, victims can further investigate, take action, or correct harm.