California's Department of Motor Vehicles says it improperly disclosed private information to seven other government agencies on more than 3,000 people who had been under some type of criminal investigation.
The department is sending letters Tuesday to the 3,200 people after determining that they aren't currently being investigated.
Department officials say they improperly gave federal, state and county agencies what were supposed to be internal notes, such as whether drivers' Social Security numbers had been checked to see if they were valid or if the individual was ineligible for a Social Security number.
More than 3,000 of the individuals had been under investigation by district attorneys in just two of California's 58 counties, San Diego and Santa Clara.
Fewer than 200 went to the federal Department of Homeland Security.
The DMV released the following statement about the breach Tuesday:
"The DMV recently discovered that, for at least the last four years, seven government entities received Social Security number information inappropriately for approximately 3,200 individuals.
"Protection of personal information is important to the DMV, and we have taken additional steps to correct this error, protect this information and reaffirm our serious commitment to protect the privacy rights of all license holders. That’s why the DMV immediately began correcting the access error following a legal compliance review, ensured that no additional confidential information was disclosed to these entities, and has implemented several additional layers of review – including review and signoff by DMV Chief Legal Counsel – for any requester seeking new access to SSN information.
"The disclosure of this information by the DMV did not involve hacking or sharing information with private individuals or entities."