By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — The California Department of Justice is warning of potential data theft after the office inadvertently exposed personal information with the update of its Firearms Dashboard Portal on June 27.
The department confirmed that this exposed the personal information of individuals who were either granted or denied a concealed carry weapons permit between the years 2011 to 2021.
The leaked info included names, date of birth, gender, race, driver’s license number, addresses and criminal history. However, Social Security numbers and financial information were not leaked, according to the department.
The department also says that information from these databases was exposed: Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Certificate Safety and Gun Violence Restraining Order dashboards.
The department is investigating how much personal information from those databases was exposed in the leak.
“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 the news release. “I immediately launched an investigation into how this occurred at the California Department of Justice and will take strong corrective measures where necessary. The California Department of Justice is entrusted to protect Californians and their data. We acknowledge the stress this may cause those individuals whose information was exposed. I am deeply disturbed and angered.”
The department says that after it learned of the data exposure, it removed that information from the public view and took down the Firearms Dashboard. It says this personal data was available to the public for less than 24 hours.
In the next few days, the department says it will alert those whose data was exposed and “provide additional information and resources,” according to the news release.
The department is warning those who accessed the information to not share or disseminate personal information, informing them that this would be a crime (Cal Penal Code Sec. 530.5).