19 Action News Investigator Scott Taylor discovered that someone was able to get a hold of more than 40,000 names, birthdays and Social Security Numbers from the North Olmsted Police Department by a simple public document request.
If it was a thief looking to cash in on personal information, they would have hit the jackpot with the police.
Through a public document request for traffic tickets dating back to 2009, the police department released thousands of people's personal info. All the details needed to open up credit cards and steal identities.
The police had no idea it happened until Scott Taylor brought it to their attention.
"What we are looking at here is a copy of what we had sent out as far as redaction. Normally there is a Social Security section on the far right and the captain that sends this out had done a cropping of all the records," said Chief Jamie Gallagher.
Somehow that cropping didn't work and all that personal information was out there for anyone to use.
Chief Gallager told 19 Action News that they take identity theft very seriously and they usually redact all the Social Security Numbers, but this time, more than 40,000 got through.
Luckily, it was good guys who got ahold of this valuable information and contacted Scott Taylor. If it was bad guys, this simple public document request would have been a doorway to identity theft.
"We are going to take a look into this and take a look at our procedures to make sure that something like this doesn't occur again," Chief Gallager said.
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