In this June 25, 2016, file photo, IBM data center supervisor Mark Fennel (R) talks to an employee on the IBM Data Center in Austin, Texas.
Fennell said that IBM’s data center database is in the hands of the Austin Police Department and is available for free to anyone with a valid warrant.
IBM announced last week that it had compromised the data center’s backup database, making it possible for law enforcement to get into it without a warrant.
A spokesperson for the Austin police department said the department does not plan to share the data with the public.
The data was first reported by Ars Technica on Wednesday.
The breach has affected some IBM systems, but Fennetell told Ars Technique the database was likely used by the Austin PD and not by the company itself.
IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The police department did not provide any additional details on how many law enforcement agencies had their systems compromised, but according to Ars, the database contains more than 100 million records and covers more than 1 million addresses and businesses.
It appears that some of the records contained sensitive information, like credit card numbers and social security numbers.
Fence-building laws in Texas are more strict than those in most other states, and the breach of the database is the latest example of how some law enforcement departments in Texas have been using IBM systems to store confidential information.
The Austin Police department has already shared data from the breach with the state attorney general’s office, and according to the city, it has been used to investigate crimes by police and criminal suspects.
Fencing and the threat of violence are the two biggest threats to data security in Texas, according to David Gertz, who leads the technology policy team at the nonprofit organization Texas Public Policy Foundation.
In his most recent report, Gerts reported that Texas’ cyber security has been in decline since 2015.
Data breaches like these can’t just be attributed to one company, he said, and they could be the result of a broader problem.
“It could be a combination of a lot of things,” he said.
“They could be related to how we do our data protection and cybersecurity.
The fact that the Austin data center was hacked and the Austin city is not really looking at it and not really doing anything about it could be part of that.”