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An "Ace" for Security

December 4, 2011
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The personal information of about 3.5 million Texans - including addresses and Social Security numbers - was mistakenly posted on public servers controlled by the state comptroller's office and remained there in some cases for more than a year.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said in a statement that the data inadvertently released even included dates of birth and driver's license numbers for some people, but that there was no indication any personal data had been misused.

"I deeply regret the exposure of the personal information that occurred and am angry that it happened," Combs said.

Agency spokesman R.J. DeSilva said people who were involved in the incident were dismissed but that he couldn't say how many because of human-resource rules.

The personal data was contained within folders on a comptroller FTP site separate from its main page - one that contained hundreds of folders, DeSilva said. Some of those folders were security-protected and could only be accessed by state agencies, while others were open to the public. The personal information was "on a portion of the page where anyone could look," he said.

The comptroller's office will begin issuing letters Wednesday notifying those people whose personal information was mistakenly made accessible to the public.

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