If you’re one of the more than 20,000 Tennesseans who have kids in Nashville schools, or pay or receive child support, you’re at a significantly increased risk of identity theft this week.
Today, there’s news about a massive data breach by a contractor for the Tennessee Department of Education. A Public Consulting Group owner, Stephen Skinner, said it was a simple human error that caused the names, gender, race or ethnicity, birth dates, Social Security numbers and some parents’ names to be posted on the Internet for three months.
Public Consulting Group took down the page March 5 without notifying any parents of the data breach. Unfortunately, Public Consulting Group didn’t realize Google had already indexed the page, so the information was still available last week when Art Staehling discovered his teenage daughter’s information on the Internet.
“I find it hard to believe that an established company had a problem of this magnitude.” Staehling said.
Public Consulting Group has a 5-year, $13 million contract with the state DOE, and will keep that contract despite the data breach.
Skinner said no action will be taken against the responsible employees because the data breach was a simple human error, Skinner said. He also apologized for the data breach.
Two weeks ago, Steven K, Gilmore was arrested for stealing the personal and financial information of thousands of people from the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Gilmore worked for Policy Studies, a contractor hired to process child support services.