Release: Thursday, November 19, 2015
Data Breach Scandal Once Again Brings into Question Whether Secretary of State Brian Kemp is Up to the Job
Atlanta, GA – Yesterday, several outlets reported that Secretary of State Brian Kemp may have compromised the privacy and economic security of more than six million Georgians by disclosing their social security numbers and other personal information.
But this isn’t the first time Kemp has proved incapable of handling large amounts of data. Other divisions of the Secretary of State have been in shambles for years.
The Professional Licensing Boards Division and Corporations Division—both of which are overseen by Brian Kemp—have both been plagued by reports of mismanagement.
Two years ago, concerns over the Nursing Board were raised, with the board president admitting that the “the board regularly takes upward of two years to process a complaint and issue a ruling.” At the time, it was reported that the North Carolina Board of Nursing regulated the same amount of nurses as Georgia, but processed complaints in “a fraction of the time”—taking an average of 45 days to resolve complaints. While a backlog of complaints in Georgia ballooned, nurses accused of malpractice—sometimes involving the death of a patient—were allowed to continue practicing medicine.
In early 2013, Brian Kemp was forced to extend annual corporation registrations due to SoS website issues.
Questions continue to pile up regarding Brian Kemp’s ability to effectively execute his duties as Secretary of State. While small business owners recovering from an economic recession have been hamstrung by his corporations division, patients put at risk because of backlogs, and licensed professionals—including electrical contractors, accountants, and cosmetologists—struggle with the licensing division’s renewal process, this latest debacle with Kemp’s elections division casts doubt on the Secretary of State’s ability to serve the people of Georgia.
“Either Brian Kemp’s office is a living disaster movie, or the procedures and safeguards in place are wholly ineffective. Kemp saying this data breach is a ‘clerical’ error is absolutely disrespectful to the millions of Georgians now fearing for their economic security—especially right before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“We have yet to hear what exactly Brian Kemp is doing to clean up this mess. Where is the hotline for consumers? Where is any kind of education from the SoS on how Georgians can protect their bank accounts? Where is the complete list of persons, organizations, or companies who received this personal information? Kemp needs to do right by Georgians and accept full responsibility for his egregious errors.” – Michael Smith, Democratic Party of Georgia Communications Director
WABE (11-18-2015) – 6 Million Ga. Voters’ Personal Information Released
AJC (11-18-2015) – Georgia: ‘Clerical error’ in data breach involving 6 million voters
WJCL (11-18-2015) – Lawsuit alleges Georgia’s Secretary of State released voters’ personal information