The political action committee for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is redacting Social Security numbers in the public release of his emails after the document dump revealed constituents’ private information, according to ABC News.
Bush, who is mulling a presidential bid in 2016, publicized hundreds of thousands of emails from his time as governor in an effort at transparency. But tech bloggers and others immediately criticized the release after discovering that Bush's Right to Rise PAC did not redact Social Security numbers, health insurance plan identification numbers and personal stories of Floridians in the emails.
The committee told ABC News on Wednesday that Bush’s attorney asked the state to review the emails before releasing them to ensure that Social Security numbers and other private information were removed before the release.
"Our site contains the public records that were made available by the State of Florida,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told ABC in a statement.
“We have redacted the emails brought to our attention and that contained personal information."
Bush called himself the "eGovernor" in a short book released online with his emails. As governor, he released his personal email, email@example.com, and asked constituents to email him. He added that he spent around 30 hours a week answering those emails.
“After a long day of meetings or travel, answering emails is sometimes what actually energized me,” he wrote.
“They allowed me to stay connected and get first-hand knowledge from Florida’s citizens.”
But many of those emails contained personal information and stories from many who, despite warnings on many of Bush’s emails, didn’t seem to realize their messages could become public.
In one such exchange highlighted by The Verge, an emailer asks for help getting a child into “life saving surgery” and provides the child’s name, mother’s name, Social Security number, and health insurance identification number.