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Kristi Noem demands answers after government publishes her and her family's social security numbers

The social security numbers of Noem, her husband, her two daughters, her son and her son-in-law were originally written on visitor logs for the White House.

Published: January 8, 2023 9:57am

Updated: January 8, 2023 5:05pm

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is demanding answers after her and her family's social security numbers were published online as part of the House Jan. 6 committee's records. 

Noem's attorney sent a letter Friday to the White House, the Government Publishing Office, the National Archives and Jan. 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), asking who was responsible for the leak and what remedies will be taken to protect the governor and her family. 

The social security numbers of Noem, her husband, her two daughters, her son and her son-in-law were originally written on visitor logs for the White House, which the governor said she visited in her official capacity.

The National Archives gave the visitor logs to the Jan. 6 committee as part of the investigation into the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Although the law requires personal information to be redacted before the logs could be published as exhibits, this did not happen. The Government Publishing Office shared the exhibits, with Noem and her family's social security numbers, for several days before taking the information down. 

The Washington Post reported Friday that nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers associated with White House visitors in December 2020, including that of at least three cabinet members and several GOP governors, were published and removed Wednesday.

"Governor Noem and her family are now at a very high risk of identity theft and being personally compromised due to the failure to redact the social security numbers," Noem's attorney James Moore said in a letter to those involved in obtaining and publishing the White House visitor logs.

"This wrongful public dissemination of Governor Noem and her family's social security numbers is a direct violation of federal law," Moore said. "Furthermore, we expect a detailed response addressing how the breach of privacy occurred, who was responsible, what steps each of you has taken to remedy the breach, and what specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect Governor Noem and her family in light of the public dissemination of their private information and the heightened risk for identity theft and other future privacy violations."

A former Jan. 6 committee aide told the Post that the "records released publicly underwent a review process to redact personal details and other sensitive information" and "any release of such information was inadvertent."

Other high-profile figures with social security numbers published in the visitor logs include Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas), Gov. Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) and former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. 

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