Thousands Of Power Customers' Data Exposed By Human Error

Oct 3, 2018

Maine's Public Advocate wants state regulators to require utilities to promptly disclose breaches in customer confidentiality.

Credit AP Photo

This announcement comes as some personal information of 77,000 Central Maine Power (CMP) customers was potentially exposed to the public due to what CMP says was human error within the company. CMP spokesperson Gail Rice says access was locked May 7, the same day the company was informed about the issue by a customer, but the Public Utilities Commission wasn’t notified until this week.

Public Advocate Barry Hobbins says that's not acceptable.

“It's imperative that the commission look at the present rules that govern confidentiality of customer records, and that they take immediate action to clarify and to ensure that there be mandatory reporting on the part of regulated utilities in the state of Maine,” says Hobbins.

CMP's Gail Rice says names, addresses and former account numbers of customers not eligible for low-income assistance were exposed, but other personal information, such as social security numbers and dates of birth, were not. She says the company didn't believe there was a public notice requirement because there was no evidence that customer information was misused or even accessed through a targeted hack of CMP's data storage.