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Texas State Surplus Store Accidentally Sells Hundreds of Texans' Private Information


by: Ben Sherman

Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:00 PM CST


Several filing cabinets sold at the southeast Austin State of Texas Surplus Store contained hundreds of Texans' most supposedly-secure information. Luckily, they fell into the hands of an honest person.

"The first thing I saw was a social security number, and I'm like, 'Wow,' and then there was names, there was Medicaid numbers and one in particular had a birth certificate stapled to the back," said David Reynolds, who bought the cabinets for his Round Rock business.

The documents of between 200-250 Texans are dated 2010-2012. More below the jump.

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"This is not the kind of information that should be left in a filing cabinet, so it was kind of shocking," Reynolds told KVUE. An officer from the State Inspector General's office showed up to take them.

Unfortunately, this smacks of a mistake Greg Abbott made in the Attorney General's office recently. In April of 2012, Abbott's office released 13 million Texas voters' social security numbers in the course of a challenge to Texas' Voter ID law. Luckily, those numbers never made it public -- but this is a disturbing trend in Texas' Republican government.

"State officials tell KVUE that the Office of the Inspector General is now trying to figure out how those documents ended up at the surplus store so it doesn't happen again. They are also working with a privacy officer to go through all of the documents and determine whether they need to notify anyone that their private information may have been compromised," KVUE explains.



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