City admits lapse in data release

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sewell Chan reports:

On Tuesday, New York City rolled out the next phase of its NYC BigApps competition, an initiative that will supply local programmers and developers with a stockpile of raw municipal data sets to build applications for the Web and mobile phones.

But in what appears to have been an accidental data breach, the city provided, as part of one data set, private information from representatives of women’s groups. A data file containing information on 1,100 such groups that had registered with the city’s Commission on Women’s Issues included fields for each participant’s “secret question” and answer. (Each participant had been asked to provide the question and answer to log in to the Women’s Resource Network, a Web site organized by the commission.)

In a statement on Wednesday, the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications acknowledged the lapse and said it had taken steps to rectify the situation.

Read more in The New York Times.

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