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Kansas website exposed state employees' personal information: report

Kansas website exposed state employees' personal information: report
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The Kansas Secretary of State’s office on Thursday posted the personal information of thousands of state employees and officials on its website, including the last four digits of some individuals’ Social Security numbers.

The disclosure was first reported by Gizmodo, which found information for employees at the Kansas Departments of State, Transportation, Education, Labor and other agencies posted on the site.

The information was taken down about an hour after the media outlet notified the secretary of State’s office, Gizmodo reported.

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Kris Kobach, an ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE and a candidate for governor, is currently the Kansas secretary of State. 

Kobach also chaired Trump’s now-disbanded commission on voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election, which was dissolved in part because states would not provide the commission with voter information.

His office said by posting the information, it was complying with state law.

Under Kansas law, public officials and candidates for state office are required to disclose certain information in order to make the public aware of any financial interests they hold, Samantha Poetter, a spokeswoman for the secretary of State’s office, said in a statement.

As part of the form, called a Statement of Substantial Interest, officials can list their Social Security number to differentiate them from others with the same name, Gizmodo reported.

The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission determines what information is requested and what is made public, Poetter said, and the secretary of State’s office provides information accordingly. 

“Kris Kobach does not believe that the last four [digits] of a person’s social security number should be part of this publicly available information. However currently Kansas law requires the entire SSI to be released,” she said. 

“Secretary Kobach takes security measures very seriously and is looking for a solution that would allow this sensitive information to be redacted, while still following the rule of law,” Poetter added.