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For more than a decade, the Census Bureau posted on a public Web site the Social Security numbers of 63,000 people who received financial aid, officials said yesterday. The apparent violation of federal privacy law prompted concerns about identity theft.
Government officials removed the data from the Web site on April 13, the day they were alerted to the breach by an Illinois farmer who discovered the numbers while surfing the Internet. They did not publicize the matter until yesterday, saying they needed the delay to enable information-security officials to contact those whose numbers were revealed and to contact "at least a half-dozen" mirror sites.
Originally posted by Flighty
Unfortunately, it won't be until they go to apply for a passport or credit that they'll find their personal identity has been used by others illegally.
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer free credit monitoring for one year to people whose private identification information was exposed on a Federal Government website that is accessible to the public. The information was removed from the website immediately after USDA learned of the potential exposure. There is no evidence that this information has been misused. However, due to the potential that this information was downloaded prior to being removed, USDA will provide the additional monitoring service.