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Florida’s unemployment system is broken, claimants’ data is hacked



Nearly 100 people have information on their unemployment claims exposed to a violation of state unemployment system data made public Thursday.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity did not initially say how many people were affected, but agency spokesman Emilie Oglesby said in an email Thursday that 98 people were part of the “data security incident.”

The agency said the violation was addressed within an hour by officers who were aware of the incident.

It did not say what information was exposed or when the violation occurred. As part of its initial announcement, the department said it covers the costs of identity protection services for people affected and advised them to report unauthorized activity on their financial accounts.

Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, sent a letter to Jonathan Satter, the state official who brought in the administration of the unemployment system last month, and requested information on a series of issues, including how much many people are affected by the breach, how the breach occurred and steps to be taken to ensure that information does not remain at risk.

“Given the agency̵

7;s track record in processing unemployment applications, I’m sure you will understand the great concern I have that all remedies are taken quickly and that Floridians will ensure that their personal information is safe and protected from future attacks., “Stewart wrote.

Satter was secretary of the Department of Management Services but was intercepted by Gov. Ron DeSantis to solve problems with the unemployment system amid massive unemployment due to coronavirus.

“We have told individuals part of a data security incident related to Reemployment Assistance claims,” ​​department spokeswoman Paige Landrum said in a statement. “This issue was discussed within an hour after we learned of the incident.”

Landrum said the Department of Economic Opportunity covers the costs of identity protection services for the people affected and advised them to report unauthorized activity on their financial accounts.

“At this time, we have received no reports of malicious activity,” Landrum said in the statement.

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