Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity Reports Data Breach, Senator Request Details

May 22, 2020
Originally published on May 21, 2020 5:46 pm

A data breach has occurred at Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity. The Department says it notified individuals that were part of the incident associated with unemployment claims. Exactly how many people are impacted has not been released.

In a letter to the department's head, Dem. Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) asked how many people are affected, what information was released, how the breach occurred, and what is being done to make sure it won't happen again.

“This information was not shared with me from you or DEO, nor was it posted on DEO’s website, begging the question of transparency and the possible breach of duty to disclose to the people whose personal information was entrusted to your care,” wrote Sen. Linda Stewart, d-Orlando, in a letter to Jonathan Satter, who is overseeing the state’s unemployment system. Satter is the Secretary of the Department of Management Services. He was tapped to take over the duties of DEO Secretary Ken Lawson.

Stewart says she became aware of the hack when a journalist called.

The Department of Economic Opportunity is in charge of processing unemployment claims. The department system has been on the receiving end of a long list of complaints from both elected officials and Floridians over the difficulty in filing claims.

The Department said in a statement that it has notified people affected by the breach within an hour of becoming aware of the hack. It’s making identify protection services available and is asking people to let them know of any unauthorized activity on accounts.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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