A data breach at California’s Department of Justice has exposed every state resident holding a permit to carry a concealed weapon, authorities learned this week.
The breach exposed permit holders’ names, addresses and license types, but no social security numbers or financial information were compromised, officials said in a press release.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said it learned of the violation Tuesday from the California State Sheriff’s Association after the state DOJ launched its “2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal.”
“This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a press release.
“I immediately launched an investigation into how this occurred at the California Department of Justice and will take strong corrective measures where necessary,” Bonta said.
Bonta’s office announced the updated firearms data portal on Monday to improve transparency and information sharing for firearms-related data.
“Transparency is key to increasing public trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve,” Bonta said Monday. “As news of tragic mass shootings continue to dominate the news cycle, leaving many with feelings of fear and uncertainty, we must do everything we can to prevent gun violence.”
The firearms portal allows access to certain information, but personal information about concealed carry weapons permit holders is not supposed to be visible.
After learning of the breach, the state DOJ disabled the dashboard site along with all related links.
The sheriff’s office said it does not know how much time the information was accessible and warns some private information may have been posted on social media websites.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who believes their identity was compromised as a result of the breach to file an online report.
“The California Department of Justice is entrusted to protect Californians and their data,” Bonta said. “We acknowledge the stress this may cause those individuals whose information was exposed. I am deeply disturbed and angered.”
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