Breach of contact tracing vendor appears to have compromised info of at least 70K people

Breach of contact tracing vendor appears to have compromised info of at least 70K people
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The Pennsylvania Department of Health said Thursday that a data breach made by employees at a vendor paid to conduct coronavirus contact tracing appears to have compromised the private information of at least 72,000 people.

WPXI-TV first reported the breach when former employees of Atlanta-based Insight Global told the local Pittsburgh station that they had been informed of improperly stored information, including peoples’ COVID-19 exposure status, phone numbers, gender, age and sexual orientation.

As The Associated Press reports, Barry Ciccocioppo, spokesperson for the state health department, said Insight Global “disregarded security protocols established in the contract and created unauthorized documents” outside of Pennsylvania’s data system. Ciccocioppo said that Pennsylvania’s system had not been compromised.


“We are extremely dismayed that employees from Insight Global acted in a way that may have compromised this type of information and sincerely apologize to all impacted individuals,” he said.

The Department of Health told WPXI-TV that financial information, Social Security numbers and addresses are not believed to have compromised.

The AP reports that Insight Global has been paid around $28.7 million by the state's Treasury Department since March 2020. 

Pennsylvania will not be renewing its contract with Insight Global when it ends in three months.

People who are concerned that their information was leaked can call 855-535-1787 beginning Friday. The hotline will be available from 9 a.m to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“We regret that information collected by our employees during COVID-19 contact tracing may have been made accessible to persons beyond authorized employees and public health officials," Insight Global said in a statement to WPXI-TV. "At this time, we believe information consisted of names of individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and a range of information designed to help manage the spread of the virus, and identify and address any needs for specific social support services."