City Clerk's Office Responds to Security Breach
Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 9:47am
The Madison City Clerk's Office is notifying 50 individuals of a security breach in which their Social Security numbers and dates of birth were available on the Internet.
On December 19 a city employee discovered a Social Security number in a liquor license application packet posted online through the city's Legislative Information Center. The city immediately shut down its Legislative Information Center while the Clerk's Office searched every license application and its attachments for personally identifiable information. The offending documents were removed from the system that same day.
A total of seventeen problematic liquor license application packets were found. Eight of the packets contained spreadsheets in which the corporation volunteered names of corporate officers, their titles, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Nine packets contained an old state form that asked for a date of birth and Social Security number.
None of these 50 individuals has filed a report of suspected identity theft with the Madison Police Department.
The City Clerk's Office has since revised its liquor license application form to discourage applicants from volunteering extraneous and personally identifiable information. Only the city's liquor license application form and the floor plans for an establishment will now be scanned and attached in the city's Legislative Information Center.
The only time the Clerk's Office would need a Social Security number would be when hiring an employee.
If anyone thinks they may have included their Social Security number on a license or permit application, the Clerk's Office encourages them to conduct an online search regarding that application to verify that their personally identifiable information has been redacted.
Individuals are encouraged to monitor their credit reports and report any acts of suspected identity theft to the police.
- Maribeth Witzel-Behl, 608-266-4601