The commission's gaffe happens at a time that the commission has issued fines up to $1,000 against more than 50 moving companies -- and is threatening to yank their operating licenses -- for failing to follow commission rules.
Commission Chairman Edward Finley Jr. this week apologized to Ray Moving and Storage for posting company owners' social security numbers, birth dates and fingerprints from an FBI criminal background check. The moving company filed a complaint with the state Attorney General, demanding that the commission reprimand or fire the staffer responsible for the breach.
"It was an inadvertent failure to comply with our policies and rules," Finley acknowledged by phone this afternoon. "We handle all sorts of volumes of paper up here and mistakes happen."
The confidential information was publicly accessible online for less than 24 hours. The commission took the link down Oct. 26 after it was flagged by the N.C. Movers Association.
The criminal background check for moving company owners and officers is a relatively new requirement for all in-state movers. Scores of movers have not complied with the 2-year old disclosure requirement and face fines up to $1,000 for flouting the rule.
Ray Moving and Storage did comply with the rule and sent the criminal background checks for its officers, despite doubts about confidentiality breaches.
"We were afraid of something just like this -- and it came to pass," said one of the owners, John Deare.
Ray Moving and Storage filed a complaint to the state Attorney General on Nov. 2.
"This type of information in the wrong hands could ruin our business and our personal lives," the complaint states. "Someone needs to be held accountable for this incompetence."
The AG's office has asked the commission to investigate the complaint and to file a security breach reporting form as a public record.
According to Finley's letter of apology to Ray Moving and Storage, compliance reports submitted by moving companies will be handled more carefully. They "will be placed into a locked storage cabinet in the Chief Clerk's office and will be viewable only by authorized Commission personnel in the performance of their official duties."