More Than 6,200 People Are At Risk
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials announced in late November that a spreadsheet containing information regarding over 6,200 non-citizen immigrants had been accidentally shared on their website during a "routine" update.
The leaked document was available for five hours and contained the names, nationalities, case statuses, and other personal information of immigrants, many of whom were seeking asylum. After a human rights organization discovered the leak and notified the agency, ICE officials immediately pulled the document from their site. They released a statement days later announcing an internal investigation into how this happened and acknowledged that those impacted were to be notified.
Immigration advocates have criticized ICE's response as being too little, too late. They've pointed out that this breach could jeopardize the safety of these non-citizen immigrants, as their personal information is now out in the open for anyone to see. They've also accused ICE of not doing enough to safeguard the data of vulnerable immigrants and urged them to ensure that this type of breach never happens again.
Possible Legal Ramifications
The leak of this personal information could have legal ramifications for those whose data was exposed. It's possible that individuals may use the leaked data to target these immigrants and expose them to further exploitation or deportation proceedings. Additionally, if the breach is found to violate the privacy rights of these immigrants, they may be able to pursue legal action against ICE.
Should You Contact An Attorney?
If ICE notified you about this leak, you might question whether contacting an attorney is the best course of action. While the exact legal ramifications of this data breach are still unknown, speaking with an attorney specializing in immigration law is a good starting point. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and advise you on how best to protect yourself moving forward.
At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., we have Board-Certified* immigration specialists that have helped non-citizens with various needs. If you are concerned about your immigration status or the possible implications of this leak, call (800) 708-4399 to discuss your potential legal options.