SEATTLE – Sound Transit, the mass-transit agency for King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, has acknowledged that it improperly gave the email addresses of nearly 173,000 customers to a political campaign promoting an expansion of mass-transit in the region.
The Seattle Times reported that the agency turned over the email addresses of customers who hold transit passes called ORCA cards to Mass Transit Now!, the campaign for ST3, which is on the fall ballot. Personal information about the pass-holders is protected by the ORCA privacy statement. In addition, state law bars government agencies from using public resources to promote a political campaign.
Spokesman Geoff Patrick said Sound Transit gave the information to the campaign after its proponents filed a public-records request for the agency’s email subscribers lists. Patrick said Sound Transit interpreted the request too broadly.
Sound Transit has since notified the campaign and asked it to remove all the improperly sent email addresses from its files and to no longer use them to contact potential voters.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter