State of California website mistakenly exposes personal information about gun owners

UPDATE 06/29: The California Department of Justice has confirmed that it accidentally leaked gun owner information to the Gun Dashboard Portal.

“Information exposed included names, date of birth, gender, race, driver’s license number, addresses and criminal history,” the department wrote in a statement. statement(Opens in a new window) Wednesday. The exposed data was available on the site for less than 24 hours, but it’s still unclear how many users were affected.

“In addition, data for the following dashboards was also affected: Assault Weapons Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Sales Registry, Firearms Certificate Security, and Firearms Certification Dashboards. gun violence restraining orders,” the department added. “The DOJ is investigating the extent to which personally identifiable information may have been exposed from these dashboards and will release additional information as it is confirmed.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has also launched an investigation into how the leak occurred. “In the coming days, the Department will notify individuals whose data has been exposed and provide additional information and resources,” the department added.

Original story:

A California effort to ensure gun data transparency accidentally exposed the personal information of many gun owners in the state.

On Monday, the California Department of Justice spear(Opens in a new window) the 2022 Firearms Dashboard portal to help the public easily access firearms data, including Concealed Weapons Permits (CCWs) and Gun Violence Prohibition Orders.

However, the same portal also offered personal information about gun owners with CCW licenses, including their full names, dates of birth, and home addresses, according(Opens in a new window) to gun news site The Reload, which viewed the exposed information.

The exact extent of the breach remains uncertain. But the portal appears to have leaked the personal details of at least 2,891 people in Los Angeles County, according to The Reload. Exposed data was also downloadable via a button and could indicate whether a CCW licensee was a judge or a law enforcement officer.

The California Department of Justice has since shut down its entire OpenJustice site, which hosted the Firearms Dashboard portal. “We are investigating an exposure of individuals’ personal information related to the DOJ’s firearms dashboard,” the department told PCMag.

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“Any unauthorized disclosure of personal information is unacceptable. We are working quickly to remedy this situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible,” the department added.

Gun advocates blast California DOJ for data leak. The California Rifle & Pistol Association noted that “hundreds of thousands” of gun owners in the state could be affected.

“Although the portal was eventually removed from the site, it left confidential information exposed for at least twelve hours. The data has likely been downloaded hundreds of times and gun owners are concerned about where their information might end up,” the association said in a statement. statement(Opens in a new window).

“This is a breach of privacy of staggering proportions,” the group added. “The incompetence shown by the Attorney General in granting access to such sensitive data is shocking.”

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