N.J. police officers’ personal information posted online by data brokers, lawsuit says

By Eric Conklin

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A group of New Jersey police officers are suing data brokers in state court stating they have been subjected to threats because their personal information was sold online.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Middlesex County on Feb. 15, alleges the brokers violated Daniel’s Law, signed into law in 2020 after the fatal shooting of a New Jersey judge’s son.

The officers say personal information about where they live and family information fell into the hands of criminals who used data brokers to access the information. The suit, which also names the Atlas Data Privacy Corporation as a plaintiff on behalf of two unnamed officers, seeks damages that would be used to combat future data breaches.

Atlas provides email services to members of law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and other people covered under Daniel’s Law, the lawsuit states. Its users include members of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the Garden State’s largest law enforcement union. Its president, Patrick Colligan, is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Among the data brokers are 6Sense Insight, Social Catfish and Giant Partners. Attorney information for the defendants was not available in court records.

Each of the officers said they faced threats because their personal information was accessible online, including to those connected to criminal organizations, according to the lawsuit.

One corrections officer, whose name was withheld from the lawsuit for privacy protection, said they were threatened by an inmate, later finding a note with a home address for an administrative staff member at their jail, according to the lawsuit.

Another unnamed officer said digital devices tied to a criminal organization they investigated contained information about their home, the lawsuit states.

In another instance, a member of law enforcement was forced to relocate their family after receiving threats from MS-13 gang members, according to the lawsuit.

Daniel’s Law received broad support following the shooting death of 20-year-old Daniel Anderl, son of New Jersey federal court Judge Esther Salas. The law bans judges’ and law enforcement officials’ sensitive information, including their home addresses, from being accessible through public records.

The law spurred action from Congress, which introduced the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act later signed into law by President Joe Biden.

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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