Sound Transit: 173,000 customer email addresses given to mass transit campaign by mistake

Sound Transit ORCA Card (KOMO File)

SEATTLE - Sound Transit admitted on Saturday, the agency accidentally released 173,000 customer emails to the political campaign promoting Sound Transit 3.

Sound Transit 3 is a ballot measure that seeks to expand regional mass transit.

Sound Transit officials say it all stemmed from a public records request.

"We received a request for email addresses on file with the agency," said Sound Transit Geoff Patrick. "While the majority of those have to be turned over by us under the law, we had an instance where a significant number of emails of ORCA customers were inadvertently turned over."

Sound Transit said no other personal information was released.

"I want to stress that this was just email addresses, there was no other personal information, especially no financial information that was was released," said Patrick.

Patrick said the emails were grabbed from an old survey list by mistake.

"In 2011 there was a survey sent out to ORCA card subscribers and in the electronic system that was used for that, the list sat there for five years and was inadvertently grabbed by folks who were responding to a public disclosure request," said Patrick.

Sound Transit said it has implemented measures to change the review process for responding to public disclosure requests in the future.

"Those actions included getting the organization to delete the emails that were inappropriately provided," said Patrick. "Other actions include making sure internally that this never happens again."

All customers impacted by the email mistake will be notified by Sound Transit.

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