As a final piece, the federal government released the Social Security numbers of 1,900 people who visited the White House in December 2020. Report released by the House Select Committee on January 6 The Inspector General of the Government Publication Office (GPO) acknowledged this in a report on Friday late last year.
In February 2022, the White House directed the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to provide the Select Committee with White House visitor logs from December 2020 to January 2021, agreeing that dates of birth and Social Security numbers would be removed, the GPO inspector general’s report said.
NARA provided the committee with visitor logs, and in December 2022, the Select Committee sent its final report and supporting materials to GPO for publication via GovInfo, as the Select Committee was being disbanded before the new Congress. The committee’s final report concluded that “the central cause of January 6 was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many followed.”
On January 4, 2023, a news outlet informed the GPO that a supporting document in the report — the White House visitor log — included the Social Security numbers of nearly 2,000 visitors, the GPO inspector general said. Sensitive information has been removed from the web.
Visitors to the White House must submit their Social Security number and date of birth to be screened by the Secret Service to enter. In December 2020, many visitors to the White House attended a holiday party hosted by Trump.
The GPO inspector general said a “perfect storm” of factors led to the release of sensitive information on hundreds of White House visitors. The IG noted that the selection committee changed its request within two weeks of the publication deadline, which put pressure on the publication office.
And the “sheer volume of supporting materials” varied, so much so that the Publications Office “does not always have an automated process to receive, process, and publish GovInfo,” the inspector general’s report said. It also found that the transition from the 117th to the 118th Congress “caused confusion” and “personally identifiable” and sensitive information left the Office of Publication “without active committee oversight” immediately after the release.
The GPO inspector general report comes as Congress deals with yet another data breach. The hacking of D.C. Health Benefits Exchange Authority data systems has sparked at least three investigations and a federal civil lawsuit against the District of Columbia government, CBS News has learned. At least 17 current or former members of Congress Personal information was exposed HackAccording to a top Democrat investigating the matter.
— Scott McFarlane and Nicholas Kurtz contributed to this report