Gov. Parson slams paper for uncovering data security flaw

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FILE – In this Tuesday, July 13, 2021, file photo, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson answers media’s questions in Kansas City, Mo. Parson on Thursday, Oct, 14, 2021 condemned the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper for exposing a flaw in a state database that allowed public access to thousands of teachers’ Social Security numbers, even though the paper held off from reporting about the flaw until after the state could fix it. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican Gov. Mike Parson has condemned one of Missouri’s largest newspapers for exposing a flaw in a state database that allowed public access to thousands of teachers’ Social Security numbers.

Parson’s criticism of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday came even though the paper held off from publishing its story about the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education data vulnerability until the agency could fix it.

Parson says the Missouri State Highway Patrol will conduct an investigation “of all of those involved” and that his administration has spoken to a prosecutor. The newspaper’s lawyer says the reporter “did the responsible thing by reporting his findings to DESE so that the state could act to prevent disclosure and misuse.”

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