CLEVELAND, Ohio – Personal data of Ohioans who filed for unemployment with the state was left compromised by the company contracted to build a new filing program, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
An email sent Wednesday by the department to filers for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal unemployment stimulus Congress passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, said two-dozen individuals had access to the personal data, which included names, Social Security numbers, addresses and the award total. Deloitte Consulting, the firm tasked with administering the additional $600-a-week PUA program, notified the state over the weekend of the breach.
The department said Deloitte remedied the issue within an hour of its discovery and there was no evidence any of the information was improperly used. Deloitte is offering 12 months of credit monitoring to anyone who filed for the program.
A Deloitte spokesman confirmed the security lapse in a statement Monday afternoon.
“A unique circumstance enabled about two dozen Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants to inadvertently access a restricted page when logged into the state’s PUA website,” Deloitte said in the statement. “Within an hour of learning of this issue, we identified the cause and stopped the unauthorized access to prevent additional occurrences. Out of an abundance of caution, we are offering 12 months of free credit monitoring to those PUA claimants potentially impacted.”
The department said anyone with questions or concerns about the data breach should email DeloitteIdentityhelp@jfs.ohio.gov.
Unemployment skyrocketed in the state at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to long delays and an overloaded, archaic state system that wasn’t prepared for the surge in claims. More than 1 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment since March, shattering previous records.
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