Erie Canal Village in Rome still looking for answers on private data – Utica Observer Dispatch


Everyone knows !

Hundreds of forms with sensitive information recently found in offices at the Erie Canal Village from the 1990s are still in possession of village officials, village owner Rick Rios said. 

Rios said he has contacted several state and federal officials – including the New York state Attorney General's Office– about what should be done with the paperwork. 

No one has come to claim any of the paperwork, Rios said. The issue is Erie Canal Village officials do not want to look through the paperwork in an effort to gather names, Rios added.

“I am waiting to get direction from them on what we are supposed to do next,” Rios said. “The requirement is to notify them when personal information was found and we did that promptly.” 

On Easter Sunday, Rios posted on Facebook that he had discovered hundreds of applications and W-4 forms that included peoples, names, Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses. 

The paperwork – which appears to be from the 1990s, according to Rios – was discovered when workers were cleaning out village offices. 

The village set up a website where people that think they may have been affected can check. Rios has advised people to go to and enter "data breach" in the comment section.   

Rios said he could simply burn the paperwork, but stated it would not help anyone that could have potentially suffered identity theft if the paperwork information was misused in the time it was left in the office. 

The dates on the paperwork appear to span the time when the City of Rome operated the village through the Rome Historical Society, Rios said, adding he would hand of the paperwork to legal representation from the city, if it were to send a written request for the forms and accept any and all liability for them. 

“Again, because we do not want to look at or take inventory of the sensitive information in the forms,” Rios said. “We immediately followed the data privacy laws of New York. We secured  them, notified government agencies, and informed the public.  At this point, that is all we can do.” 

Ed Harris is the Oneida County reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. Email Ed Harris at [email protected]

After all of that camDown and your mother would feel the same.