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Personal Information Breach Under Review

8/13/2018

Criminal Court Clerk will notify residents, city to provide credit protection services

The Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk is taking action to review and remedy a breach of personal information in which some criminal affidavits attached to publicly available arrest warrants inappropriately included the Social Security Numbers of private citizens. To remedy the situation, all victims of the breach will be offered one-year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection service.

“It is regrettable this information was made publicly available, and it absolutely should not have happened. We are looking into the scope of the breach including the Metro agencies and individuals involved, and will be relying on the services of a third-party vendor to help with the investigation. Our preliminary review indicates that only a small portion of the total affidavits contained confidential identifying information,” said Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry.

The Metropolitan Government became aware of the breach on July 30, and the Mayor’s Office immediately took action to remediate the breach and convened representatives from the Criminal Court Clerk’s office, General Sessions Court, Metro Law Department, Metro Nashville Police Department, Justice Integration Services and Metro Information Technology Services to address it.

“I want to make sure everyone understands that we are taking this very seriously, and we will take all appropriate steps to protect those residents whose personal information was made vulnerable,” said Mayor David Briley.

On July 31, the Metropolitan Police Department issued a reminder to its officers that social security numbers, bank account numbers, and other sensitive personal information that could place someone at enhanced risk of identity theft should not be placed in an arrest warrant affidavit.

On August 7, Judge Melissa Blackburn of the General Sessions Court issued an order that any arrest warrants including sensitive personal identifying information will not be signed by a Judicial Commissioner and will be sent back to the officer for editing.

All affidavits connected to criminal record reports were removed from the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office website on August 3, 2018.

The city will also take the following actions:

  • Those affected will be notified by the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office within 45 days that their confidential information was disclosed.
  • A third party will review breached information to identify those persons impacted.
  • Confidential personal identifying information will be scrubbed from all affidavits before being posted on the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office website.
  • Proactive steps will be identified and taken to ensure confidential identifying information does not appear on future affidavits.

Those affected were identified in affidavits because they were charged with a crime or they were an alleged victim of identity theft. Residents who are concerned their information may be vulnerable should call the Criminal Court Clerk’s office for further information.