Securities office notifies advisors of data breach
The Massachusetts Secretary of State's office said today it decided to send letters to 139,000 investment advisers, warning them that their personal information was accidentally exposed earlier this year.
As reported last week, the office's securities unit mistakenly mailed an electronic list of the investment advisors, along with their names, social security numbers, and other information, to an industry publication, IA Week.
The publication returned the CD-ROM after it discovered the error. And Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Secretary of State William F. Galvin, said there is no reason to believe any of the data was misused. But in an abundance of caution, he said the state decided to notify the investment advisers and key state officials about the error.
Under Massachusetts law, organizations are required to notify the individuals affected, the state attorney general, and the director of consumer affairs whenever a security breach occurs that exposes the personal information of Massachusetts residents. But McNiff said it wasn't clear whether the law applied to this particular case.