The Small Business Administration just told thousands of businesses applying for disaster loans that their personal information was mistakenly leaked


Small Business Administration

  • The Small Business Administration has told nearly 8,000 businesses that their personal information was exposed on the official SBA website, a spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.
  • The leak affects businesses who submitted economic relief applications through the SBA website.
  • A bug in the site was mistakenly showing applicants’ personal information to other applicants who subsequently used the portal.
  • The SBA has addressed the issue and relaunched the portal, and impacted businesses have been offered one year of free credit monitoring.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A bug in a federal government website exposed the personal information of thousands of small business owners applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans last month.

A spokesperson for the Small Business Administration confirmed the leak to Business Insider, stating that a total of 7,913 applicants’ information was potentially exposed. Businesses have applied for disaster loans in large numbers as they feel the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

In total, 7,913 applicants were affected by the leak, the agency confirmed.

Small business owners in all 50 states are currently eligible for $10,000 advances on EIDL loans as part of the COVID-19 relief package passed by congress last month.

“Personal identifiable information of a limited number of Economic Injury Disaster Loan applicants was potentially exposed to other applicants on SBA’s loan application site. We immediately disabled the impacted portion of the website, addressed the issue, and relaunched the application portal,” the SBA spokesperson told Business Insider.

The SBA notified applicants of the exposure Tuesday, CNBC first reported. The data exposure only affects applicants for EIDL loans, not Paycheck Protection Program loans, according to the spokesperson.

In early April, business owners told CBS News that when they tried to fill out an application, they noticed other businesses’ information including Social Security numbers, emails, phone numbers, and business addresses already filled in on the loan registration page. The SBA confirmed the leaks at the time.

The SBA is now offering potentially impacted individuals one year of free credit monitoring, according to the spokesperson.

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