A tech blog charged Tuesday that a website of Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush showing emails from his days as Florida governor revealed social security numbers and other sensitive information about people who corresponded with him and his staff.
Bush said on the website
that he was posting the emails "in the spirit of transparency." The son of former President George H.W. Bush, and brother of former President George W. Bush, he was Florida's governor from 1998 to 2007.
"Email kept me connected to Floridians and focused on the mission of being their governor," Bush is quoted on the website.
The Verge reported
that some of the posted letters contained social security numbers that were not redacted by Bush or the State of Florida.
"On its face it seems like a great idea in the name of transparency, but there's one huge problem: neither Bush nor those who facilitated the publication of the records, including the state government, decided to redact potentially sensitive personal information from them," wrote T.C. Sottek, of The Verge.
"Some … contain the email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers of Florida residents. The emails are available in Outlook format, and can be searched on the web at Bush's website."
The Verge posted two examples of social security numbers being published, but redacted the numbers.
Bush spokesman Kristy Campbell told BuzzFeed News
that Bush had asked the state to redact sensitive information from the emails which spanned from 1999 to 2007.
"Last year, we requested the state specifically comply with Florida statute regarding exemptions and redactions," Campbell told BuzzFeed. "We have redacted personal identifying information from two emails brought to our attention. We are doing an electronic search for any additional emails that may fall into this category and will do the same."
The Miami Herald's Patricia Mazzei reported
that Bush attorney Raquel Rodriguez wrote a letter to the state in May 2014 specifically addressing the redacting issue then.
"We hope these emails will be available permanently to the public … in accordance with Florida Statute to ensure information exempt from public disclosure is redacted before release, including social security numbers of Florida citizens who contacted Governor Bush for assistance; personal identifying information related to victims of crime or abuse; confidential law enforcement intelligence; and other information made confidential or exempt by applicable law," read the Rodriguez letter.
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