OLYMPIA — After the State Auditor’s Office announced that sensitive information about 1.6 million unemployment insurance claimants had been stolen from a private-sector, third-party contractor in a data breach, Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), released this statement:
“I am shocked at this huge breach of personal financial account information, including bank account information and social security numbers, allowed by the State Auditor’s Office’s private-sector contractor.
“This sensitive information has been kept perfectly safe by the Employment Security Department. Was it truly necessary for the audit of ESD to include all this personal financial data from ESD claimants? If so, why did the auditor’s office not make sure its vendor could be trusted to provide adequate data security? The people of Washington deserve to know that all state agencies take their privacy just as seriously as ESD does.
“I want to reiterate that this data was not stolen from ESD, where there are robust safeguards in place. This failure on the part of the auditor’s third-party vendor should not dissuade Washingtonians from applying to ESD for the unemployment relief they have earned.”