Day care info mistakenly posted on Web

A database project turned into a privacy nightmare this month for Livingston County, N.Y.

Personal records from the county's day care database'hundreds of names, addresses and confidential information about low-income and foster families'remained online for about two weeks. They included details about families' daily routines, birthdays and which days a family member attends a treatment program.

A programmer who worked on a contract for the county's Social Services Department inadvertently posted the data to www.rentacoder.com while seeking technical help, said David Morris, Livingston County attorney. Visitors viewed the posting 214 times but would have had to unzip the database to see the personal information.

The county contracts with Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y., to work on the database. The college suspended the programmer without pay. All the families involved are being notified, Morris said, and the Social Services Department is fielding phone calls about any problems that might arise.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

Featured

  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com)

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (Shutterstock.com)

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected