Personal Data of 2 Million Disaster Victims Botched by FEMA

  • In Business
  • 2019-03-23 14:46:14Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency improperly released the personal data of some 2.3 million survivors of hurricane and wildfire disasters to a contractor, the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog said late Friday.

Personal details including individuals' home addresses and bank account numbers -- data that exposes victims to potential identity theft and fraud -- were improperly given to a contractor hired by FEMA to provide temporary housing to victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and California wildfires in 2017, according to a memo released on Friday by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General.

FEMA provided more information than necessary to the vendor and has since taken steps to correct the error, FEMA spokeswoman Lizzie Litzow said in an emailed statement. In addition, there's no indication that any of the 2.3 million people's personal data has been compromised, she said.

The disclosures were made "in direct violation of Federal and DHS requirements," and the watchdog recommended FEMA take action to prevent improper releases in the future. More than 20 types of "unnecessary" information was released by the agency, including six "sensitive" data types. The report didn't name the contractor.

In a response included in the report, FEMA said it concurred with the recommendations and was taking "corrective actions."

"FEMA has taken aggressive action to mitigate the issues raised within this report and strengthen the protection of survivor data," Joel Doolin, a FEMA associate administrator, said in its response.

The excessive sharing of data was discovered during an audit of FEMA's post-disaster sheltering program.

(Adds FEMA comment starting in the third paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at, Ros Krasny

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Democrats Struggling With Black Voters Target South Carolina
Democrats Struggling With Black Voters Target South Carolina

Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker each appeared at the event hosted by the Black Economic Alliance in downtown Charleston. All four highlighted issues such as bridging the racial wealth gap, creating opportunity and emphasizing the legacy of slavery that are important to black voters in South Carolina and nationally.

Buttigieg Worries Tech May Add Racial Bias to Credit Decisions
Buttigieg Worries Tech May Add Racial Bias to Credit Decisions

Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate, was responding to a black business owner who asked about the denial of capital to African Americans during the Black Economic Alliance Forum held jointly with Black Entertainment Television in Charleston, South Carolina. The event, held Saturday, will be broadcast Sunday on BET.

Under Fire, Trump Backtracks on Reporting Foreign
Under Fire, Trump Backtracks on Reporting Foreign 'Dirt' to FBI

"Of course you give it to the FBI" if warranted, Trump said Friday in a phone interview with Fox News. Special Counsel Robert Mueller discovered that a Russian lawyer approached Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. in 2016, offering damaging information from the Kremlin about Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Facebook Gains on Crypto Plans, Easing of Regulatory Concerns
Facebook Gains on Crypto Plans, Easing of Regulatory Concerns

The stock rose as much as 2.5% in morning trading, extending a recent uptrend. "Investors may be getting relatively comfortable with the underlying regulatory risk" facing major Internet and technology stocks, wrote Youssef Squali, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. According to the firm's calculations, Facebook's five main businesses -- the namesake social network, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus -- have a sum-of-the-parts valuation that implies a share price of $226, or 27% above Facebook's Thursday close.

Trump Says He
Trump Says He's Not Going to Fire Kellyanne Conway

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he won't fire White House adviser Kellyanne Conway following a government watchdog's recommendation she be "removed from federal service" for disparaging Democratic presidential candidates in her official capacity as a senior White House adviser.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Ellcaussy
    (2019-06-04 02:12:14Z)

    Cialis Per Body Building cialis Viagra Kaufen Erfahrung Clomid Jeux De Cartes


Top News: Business

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.