The office of the secretary of state for Massachusetts has accidentally sent the details of 139,000 investment advisers to a magazine.
The website of the Boston Globe revealed that the office, which is charged with enforcing financial rules for investment companies, accidentally released confidential personal information earlier this year on 139,000 investment advisers registered with the state.
The data was on a CD-ROM sent to IA Week after it requested public information from the securities division. It was sent a list of individual investment professionals with their social security numbers, names, dates of birth and place of birth.
Carl Ayers, publisher of the business magazine IA Week, said: “It's a pretty big mistake. It's pretty shocking, because it's such a large number of people.”
He said that the data had been returned to the securities division. Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the secretary of state William F. Galvin, told Boston.com: “It's an unfortunate mistake. It obviously was not done according to [standard] practice.''
He confirmed that it occurred when a new employee did not delete the social security numbers and other information that is normally withheld. He also said that the securities division is trying to determine whether it needs to notify anyone under Massachusetts law, since it has recovered the data and does not believe it was ever misused.