National Security

ICE accidentally posts personal data of 6,252 immigrants online

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer looks on during an operation
Associated Press/Gregory Bull
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif., on July 8, 2019.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) accidentally posted a document online Monday containing personal information of more than 6,000 noncitizens seeking protection, the agency announced. 

ICE said in a statement on Wednesday that the document was posted on its website for about five hours while the agency was performing routine updates and it took “swift action” to fix the mistake once it was notified. The Excel spreadsheet included 6,252 immigrants’ names, immigration information and other personally identifiable information. 

“Though unintentional, this release of information is a breach of policy and the agency is investigating the incident and taking all corrective actions necessary,” ICE said. 

The Los Angeles Times first reported ICE’s inadvertent disclosure.

The nonprofit Human Rights First, which advocates for the United States to protect human rights, first notified ICE of the information, and it was taken down about 10 minutes later. 

ICE said it is notifying those impacted or their attorneys of the disclosure, which will allow them to determine if it will impact their claim for receiving protection from the U.S. government. The agency notified the Department of Homeland Security’s chief privacy officer and other oversight bodies and is monitoring the internet for any reposting of the document. 

It also placed alerts on all people whose information was made public to ensure that the agency does not take further action on their claim before determining if the disclosure affects it. 

ICE plans to identify any entity that accessed the information through their IP addresses and will send them a letter requesting that they destroy the document.

—Updated at 5:33 p.m.

Tags Human Rights First Immigration and Customs Enforcement noncitizens personal information

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