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187,500 notified of FSSA security breach

INDIANAPOLIS – The state family and social services agency has contacted 187,500 Hoosiers to let them know their personal information – including addresses, medical conditions and bank balances – was potentially compromised.

Of those, almost 4,000 could have had their Social Security numbers leaked.

These people receive state benefits of one sort or another, from cash assistance, to Medicaid or food stamps.

A news release said a contractor for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration – RCR Technology Corp. – made a computer programming error to a document management system.

This error caused an undetermined number of documents being sent to clients to be duplicated and also inserted with documents sent to other clients. This means some of the clients may have received documents belonging to other clients along with their own documents.

The programming error was made on April 6, and affected correspondence sent between then and May 21, when it was corrected.

“Clients entrust their information to us and we take the security of that information very seriously. We are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of that information and regret that in this rare instance some information may have been accidentally shared inappropriately,” said FSSA Secretary Debra Minott.

“We do not believe this was a widespread disclosure of information and have only been made aware of a handful of instances where information was received by the wrong person. Still, we are taking the most complete and prudent approach to notifying all potentially impacted clients.”

The type of information that may have been disclosed includes name, address, case number, date of birth, gender, race, telephone number, email address, types of benefits received, monthly benefit amount, employer information, some financial information such as monthly income and expenses, bank balances and other assets. Certain medical information such as provider name, whether the client receives disability benefits and medical status or condition, and certain information about the client’s household members like name, gender and date of birth might have gone to the wrong place.

Of the 187,533 clients, 3,926 may have had their Social Security numbers disclosed.

FSSA has informed those who might be affected of steps to take against identity theft, including placing a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit report.

Any client of the agency who has received another person’s information in error should return this material immediately to a local Division of Family Resources Office. If this is not feasible, the material should be securely shredded, the release said.

RCR has a $51 million contract with the state running from mid-2012 to 2017. This year’s annual payment is more than $11 million.