Jeb Bush email dump includes Social Security numbers

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A trove of 250,000 emails released by prospective 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush includes the sensitive personal information of several Florida residents, leaving them vulnerable to identity thieves. 

A scan of the email dump by technology blogs The Verge and Gizmodo revealed names, emails and in some cases, Social Security numbers of Bush’s correspondents. Many appear to be normal Florida residents unaware their messages to the then-governor would eventually become public. 

{mosads}The tech blogs redacted the personal information in their posts. 

Bush was already in the spotlight Tuesday for acknowledging in an e-book that he spent “30 hours a week” answering email as governor, but tech blogs were taking far greater interest in the details of the email dump by the afternoon. 

Many posts were critical of Bush, who is expected to be a major contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. 

“Even if most of these emails are subject to Sunshine Law disclosure, a public request for specific information is not the same as a huge, indiscriminate data dump being made for political reasons,” wrote T.C. Sottek with The Verge, which first reported the presence of Social Security numbers in the trove. 

“At minimum, it shows a serious ignorance of the volume of sensitive information in the records and a carelessness about their disclosure — not a good look for someone who may want to sit in the White House,” Sottek wrote. 

At the time of this post, the messages still included some Social Security numbers, leaving individuals vulnerable to identity theft. Some messages also included sensitive personal stories, and many explicitly ask that their contents do not become public.  

A note on Bush’s site said he was posting the emails “in the spirit of transparency.” 

“Emails kept me connected to Floridians and focused on the mission of being their governor,” Bush said in a statement on the site. “Some are funny; some are serious; some I wrote in frustration. But they’re all here so you can read them and make up your own mind.”

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