With the data breach exposing the information of unemployed Ohioans, one foundation is saying that the government’s failure to address known flaws with the benefits system means the public has lost trust in the state.
Deloitte Consulting is handling pandemic unemployment assistance claims for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. At least 130,000 independent contractors who filed 1099 forms but have not yet received benefits had their information, including addresses and social security numbers exposed on the Deloitte system, WLWT reported.
ODJFS called the case a unique circumstance that enabled about two dozen pandemic unemployment assistance claimants to inadvertently access a restricted page when logged into the PUA website.
Ohio’s Future Foundation, a public policy advocacy organization, said, in part:
The data breach of Ohio’s unemployment system, specifically the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) under the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, has led to the theft of Social Security numbers, names, and full addresses of our fellow Buckeyes struggling to get by. This epitomizes the reason why Ohio’s Future Foundation has vocally and persistently called for a well-thought-out and well-prepared plan to reopen Ohio. Instead, we have seen continual flip-flopping face mask requirements; vague and confusing last-minute government orders, and individuals waiting weeks on end to receive financial assistance from a system they have paid into. Now we have seen the ultimate bottom falling out — a breach of public trust through the leak of private personal information.
Let us be very clear on one salient point, the issues within Ohio’s unemployment system were well known in 2019 by the state. Last year, they were notified by the federal government that Ohio’s unemployment system would not survive a recession due to its poor funding. Now Lieutenant Governor Husted has asked for billions of dollars from the federal government that Ohioans will be paying interest on to the tunes of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.
Deloitte’s system for Colorado and Illinois also was breached, ABC News said.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.