A Long Island town says it accidentally posted the Social Security numbers of 78 ambulance workers and beneficiaries on its website, sparking outrage over the privacy violation and fears about potential fraud or identity theft.
The Town of Brookhaven said Wednesday it would pursue legal action against anyone who disseminates the information, which was on the website for five days.
The numbers and other personal information accidentally were uploaded when the town's legal department posted a resolution to which the workers' names were attached, according to Newsday. The personal information should have been removed before the resolution was posted, officials said.
Brookhaven was notified about the error at 2:35 p.m. Tuesday and corrected it within half an hour. But since it had already been posted for five days by that point, residents remain concerned.
"As you can tell, we're all upset but working with the town to fix what needs to be done," Shirley Ambulance Chief James Deutsch, whose fiancee was among those whose information was listed, told Newsday.
Town officials sent notices to all of the people affected by the breach. They also hired a company to keep track of the credit records for those whose information was leaked so that authorities could act quickly in the event of any identity theft.
In 2010, the same type of information was accidentally posted to the town's website. It also was an attachment to a resolution.