By on June 4, 2010

Within the last several hours, NHTSA has blocked access to documents hosted on its Office of Defect Investigation complaint database. The move comes after TTAC commenter carquestions posted this video to YouTube, showing a number of lapses in redacting which resulted in private information, including social security numbers and driver’s license numbers, being made publicly available. TTAC has contacted NHTSA about the apparent violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, and is awaiting a response from the agency.

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5 Comments on “NHTSA Shuts Down Web Access To Complaint Database Documents...”


  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    So what do you think…was the jack ass responsible for this goof busy drinking coffee with friends, or taking a 3 hour lunch?
    Do you think this govt employee makes more than $100k? Maybe more than $110k?

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      It’s more likely there’s a script which is either poorly written or needing an update or rewrite which is responsible for the actual errors. So technically it’s probably a system adminisrator’s fault. Although it sure would be nice to see what gets published online proofread by *somebody*.

    • 0 avatar

      Do you think this govt employee makes more than $100k? Maybe more than $110k?
      This joggled my memory back to last December, when USA Today reported:
      [In December 2007] the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.
      I doubt anyone doing the redacting (or not, apparently) gets paid that much… but it’s an interesting factoid.

    • 0 avatar

      The documents that leaked private info (I saw a lot of them when I wrote my previous story on the augias stable of a database) are not redacted by script. They must be carefully redacted by hand.

      Someone needs to re-read all of the documents in the database with a black marker (or rather with a PDF editing application) and blacken out sensitive information.

      Then, someone needs to re-read.

      Apparently, the NHTSA had no quality assurance.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Apparently, the NHTSA had no quality assurance.

      +1. And then some.
      I mean holy crap – who is the six figure civil (so-called) servant responsible here?

      As someone who works in the medical parts sector and has to deal with FDA documentation issues, I cannot fathom ANY private sector medical firm allowing such info out without being crucified by the FDA.

      Sheesh, any non-exempt with a year of experience would freak seeing such a privacy violation. And the responsible manager would soon ‘retire’ or ‘leave to pursue other interests’.

      And these freaks are responsible Highway Safety?!?


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