Whistleblower led Goal 11 to unsecured contact tracing information from the state of WPXI

PITTSBURGH – A major Target 11 study affects approximately 70,000 people across Pennsylvania.

Investigator Rick Earle discovered that the health and other personal information of tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians collected during the contact trace are at risk.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the company responsible for collecting the information are currently conducting several investigations. These investigations began after Earle was able to see personal information and inform the department of what he discovered.

Earle shares more of his investigation and hears from a state official now calling for federal law and federal investigations hearings on Channel 11 News at 6 p.m.

Insight Global, a human resources company based in Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a $ 23 million contract to hire 1,000 contact tracers to help control the spread of COVID-19.

However, some former employees tell Target 11 that the company has not backed up the information collected from the contacts. And the former workers said they told their supervisors, but nothing was done to protect the information.

Goal 11 received links to tables of names, health and personal information collected from contacts between September and March 2021.

1-855-535-1787 The toll-free line will go online Friday afternoon for contacts who suspect their information has been compromised. Free credit monitoring and identity protection are also offered. #wpxi

– Rick Earle (@WPXIRickEarle) April 29, 2021

Insight Global released the following statement on Target 11:

“We regret that the information collected from our employees during the COVID-19 contact trace may have been disclosed to individuals who are unauthorized public health officials. Our first priority was to secure and prevent further access to or disclosure of information. While an active investigation is conducted by leading third-party IT security specialists, we also work with a team to determine what information is or remains at risk. We currently believe that information consisted of the names of people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and a range of information designed to help control the spread of the virus and identify and meet the need for specific social support services. We understand the concerns that potential access to such information could raise and we are working urgently and closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to notify anyone whose information may be affected. “

After the news broke and Target 11 contacted the Department of Health, officials said they would not renew their contract with Insight Global. They said the company’s employees “created unauthorized documents outside of the secure data systems” and were “extremely upset” by what happened. Here is a statement from the department:

“The Department of Health recently learned that certain employees at Insight Global – a provider hired by DOH in 2020 to provide contact tracing and similar services – were violating contract security protocols and unauthorized documents outside of the secure data systems it created created the community. These documents existed separately from the official data that Insight Global employees collected and made available to DOH on secure data platforms. No Commonwealth IT assets or systems, including the COVID Alert PA app, were involved or compromised.

“The Ministry of Health takes the security of individuals’ personal information very seriously. We are extremely dismayed that Insight Global employees acted in such a way that this type of information may have been compromised, and we sincerely apologize to all concerned. Immediately after it became known, the department quickly took action and requested Insight Global to properly secure the documents. Insight Global hired third-party IT specialists and immediately initiated a forensic investigation to identify anyone who might be affected.

“During the forensic investigation, the documents did not contain any financial account information, addresses or social security numbers. We know that some of the documents contained at least 72,000 personal names and some of the names were linked to additional information such as phone numbers and email addresses, as well as personal information such as gender, age, sexual orientation, and COVID diagnosis and exposure status.

As a result of this incident, the Department of Health has informed Insight Global that it will not renew the contract if it expires on July 31, 2021. The department is currently evaluating how resources can be appropriately deployed to meet Pennsylvanian public health needs.

“The department is asking Insight Global to notify all affected individuals. In addition, a toll-free hotline (1-855-535-1787) will open on Friday April 30th for anyone who is concerned that their information may be affected by this security incident. The hotline will be manned from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Although no financial information was included, credit monitoring and identity protection services are provided free of charge to anyone affected by this incident. “

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