U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is investigating an incident that happened on Monday when personally identifiable data from 6,252 immigrants was posted on its website for about five hours. Image Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is investigating an incident that happened on Monday when personally identifiable data from 6,252 immigrants was posted on its website for about five hours.
In a statement Wednesday, ICE said it quickly took action to take the information down as soon as it was notified of the mistake. The 6,252 immigrants whose data was shared are all in ICE custody.
"Though unintentional, this release of information is a breach of policy and the agency is investigating the incident and taking all corrective actions necessary," the statement said.
"ICE is notifying noncitizens impacted by the disclosure."
The incident was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. Human Rights First, a nonprofit organization which advocates for immigrants among other causes, notified ICE of the data being shared. It was taken down about 10 minutes later.
The data dump can create dangerous situations for many immigrants involved, according to Human Rights First. Some are fleeing violence or threats of violence by other individuals, gangs and their own government.
"We are deeply concerned about our client's safety after ICE publicly shared this very sensitive information about her and thousands of others like her,"said Diana Rashid, managing attorney of the National Immigrant Justice Center. One of NIJC's clients was included in the data dump.
"She is seeking protection from removal because she fears persecution if returned to her country of origin. Revealing this information makes her more vulnerable to the persecution and abuses she fears if deported."
ICE is placing alerts on the files of all of the immigrants whose information was compromised. They are not to take any action on their cases until they have determined the detrimental effects of the personal data being exposed.
The department is also investigating who accessed the information while it was posted by following IP addresses. It will notify any parties that did so and order that information to be destroyed.