Magazine article Information Management

New Jersey Nearly Sold Secret Data

Magazine article Information Management

New Jersey Nearly Sold Secret Data

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

New Jersey tried to sell computer equipment that contained citizens' confidential data, including files on abused children, tax returns, computer passwords, and Social Security numbers (SSNs), according to The New York Times.

After the comptroller's office reviewed computer equipment that the state was planning to auction to the public last year, it found that 46 out of 58 hard drives (79%) still contained data, much of it private, according to the report from Comptroller Matthew Boxer.

The computers came from the judiciary branch, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Office of Administrative Law. In some cases, no attempt had been made to erase files, The Times reported. In others, investigators were able to recover deleted files using commonly available software.

The investigation also found that:

* Thirty-two of the hard drives examined by Boxer's team contained information that should not be made public. Six of the drives had SSNs, including those found in personnel reviews stored in an e-mail archive.

* One laptop included extensive personal financial information on a judge, including his tax returns, as well as confidential memos he had written concerning possible misconduct by two lawyers and the emotional problems of another. …

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