Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush released personal information — including home addresses and Social Security numbers — in his public dump of hundreds of thousands of emails from his time as the Sunshine State’s governor.
“In the spirit of transparency, I am posting the emails of my governorship here,” Bush says in a statement on his website that released the emails. “Some are funny; some are serious; some I wrote in frustration.”
But, as the publication The Verge found, some of those emails “also contain the email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers of Florida residents.”
The Verge article cited instances where this personal information was released without redaction. In its story, the Verge redacted that personal information.
The Verge wondered if Bush’s document dump violates Florida laws—and redaction requirements—but that’s not yet clear.
“We do not know yet if any of these email disclosures violate Florida privacy laws — as Bush notes in the signature of many of his emails, ‘Florida has a very broad public records law,’ and ‘your email communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure,’” the publication wrote. “We will update this story as we receive comment from experts on privacy and Florida law.”
But even if it’s legal for Bush to have released all this personal information, The Verge wonders if it’s politically smart for Bush to do so.
“Even if most of these emails are subject to sunshine law disclosure, a public request for specific information is not the same as a huge, indiscriminate data dump being made for political reasons,” the publication wrote. “At minimum, it shows a serious ignorance of the volume of sensitive information in the records and a carelessness about their disclosure — not a good look for someone who called himself the first ‘eGovernor,’ let alone a man who may want to sit in the White House.”
Bush’s team didn’t respond to The Verge for comment, but when asked by Breitbart News about the report, Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell deferred to Florida state government officials.
“These are official records provided by the Florida Department of State,” Campbell said in an emailed statement. “Emails on the website are currently public record under Florida’s broad sunshine laws. Regarding exempt personal identifying information, the Florida Department of State or the Executive of the Governor can share more background on exemptions under Florida Statute.”
Breitbart News has reached out to both Florida’s executive office of the governor—which is under Gov. Rick Scott’s purview now—and Florida’s Department of State for comment.