Georgia: Red Light Cameras Expose Personal Information
Savannah, Georgia red light camera system offers personal data on 8800 motorists to identity thieves.
Savannah Tickets OnlineIdentity thieves may have captured sensitive personal information on up to 8800 motorists who traveled through Savannah, Georgia and happened to trip the city's red light camera. For seven months, the photos, name, date of birth, address and sometimes Social Security Number of recipients were being archived by Internet search engines because the city web server failed to implement the most basic security measures. A citizen noticed the problem when he searched for a name on Google and found the personal information in the results. He notified the city of the problem on September 5, and the city began sending notifications to affected motorists on Tuesday.
Despite the massive error, the city maintains that its computer systems, "currently have up-to-date security measures, devices, and software to protect confidential information." Photo enforcement vendor ACS similarly exposed personal information in Edmonton, Canada by leaving 320 tickets on a park bench.
Only a third of the tickets, about 3000, went to Savannah residents. Non-residents targeted by the cameras paid the majority of the $660,000 in revenue during the time the personal information was exposed.
Letter to ticket recipients:
The City of Savannah was informed that confidential vehicle registration information stored on a city server could be accessed through the internet. The problem was corrected immediately. The vehicle registration information was used in conjunction with the Red Light Camera Enforcement Program. Violator's registration information was retrieved from the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) and stored on a data server with the City of Savannah.
You are receiving this notice because your information could have been viewed from the Internet. The information included name, address, driver's license number, vehicle identification number and possibly Social Security number (only if your driver's license number is the same as your Social Security number).
At this point we have no evidence that confidential information was read. downloaded or used in any manner. No one has reported any problems to the City of Savannah, or any other state or local authorities.
The City of Savannah has been working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) to determine if any inappropriate use of this information occurred. The city's computer systems currently have up-to-date security measures, devices, and software to protect confidential information. We will work with these state agencies to further strengthen our security.
As a precaution, we advise you to monitor your credit accounts for any indication that someone else is using your personal information. If you believe you have experienced identity theft or unauthorized use of your personal information, please inform your local law enforcement officials immediately.
We also urge you to consider changing your driver's license number if it is your Social Security number. For information on how to change your driver's license number, please visit the following web site
We regret the concern and any inconvenience this situation may have caused you. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect citizens' information.
If you have questions, please see http://www.savannahga.gov/security or call 912-651-6565.
Source: Drivers' Vehicle Registration Information Possibly Exposed Online (WTOC-TV (GA), 9/20/2006)