Jeb Bush just published thousands of citizens' names and email addresses

Jeb Bush
This is bad.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush hasn’t even yet formally declared his desire to run for president in 2016, but he’s already started what appears to be a major privacy blunder.

His new project, the Jeb Emails, a massive, open database of correspondence to and from his email address, publishes the names, messages, and email addresses of his constituents who emailed him during his eight years in office.

“I emailed Governor Bush when the state was going through the initial insurance crisis,” one woman, whose AOL email address was among those in the database, told the Daily Dot. “I have never [given authorization] to publish the emails, but then [they] never said they were confidential or proprietary property of the Governor's office. They were just emails.”

"I am fine with it on the emails concerning homeowners insurance," the woman added. Ones about "illegal immigrants," however, embarrassed her. "My feelings have changed on that subject and I wold hate to unduly upset anyone," she said.

It’s difficult to estimate how many different personal email addresses are in the database, and many come from Floridians’ work accounts. But the number is easily in the thousands and more likely in the tens of thousands. The governor’s office didn’t respond to an emailed inquiry about what information, if any, they did choose to redact, though it appears as though phone numbers have been obscured.

In his own introduction to the project, Bush touts his technical prowess, referring to himself as “The eGovernor” for how easy it was to email with him when he was in office.

This is the second Internet-related snafu in as many days from his campaign. In a tiff goof that now seems tame by comparison, on Monday, his office admitted that they had asked their new Chief Technology Officer to delete jokes he’d tweeted about “sluts.”

Update 2:15pm ET, Feb. 10: It gets worse. The Verge has uncovered emails that contain Social Security numbers, home addresses, and other personal information from Floridians.

Photo via World Affairs Council/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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