For Immediate Release
Friday, January 19, 2018
Contact: Mark Ard
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING INADVERTENT RELEASE OF LIMITED CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
DOS providing free credit monitoring services for 945 affected individuals
In January 2013, The Florida Department of State, Division of Elections temporarily participated in a project pilot in an effort to facilitate validation of information between states. In September 2017, the last four digits of the social security numbers of 945 individuals was inadvertently provided to an individual member of the public in response to a public records request. These numbers were originally provided to the department by another state in 2013 as information that may have been a potential match to a Florida voter’s information. While these individuals have been identified and are being contacted directly by the department, any individual who believes their personal information may have been released may also contact 850.245.6022.
At this time, the department has no reason to believe individuals’ information has been misused. However, in an abundance of caution and to help individuals detect any possible misuse of this information, we are providing a one-year membership in LifeLock program for those affected. This service will be free for all those who were identified. For more information, including steps one may take to protect themselves from potential harm, individuals may call 850.245.6022. If you are writing on this event, it is imperative to include the department’s phone number in your reporting.
Potentially affected individuals may also wish to review their credit history for any potential fraudulent or suspicious activities they have not authorized. To protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft, they may also place a free fraud alert on their credit files. A fraud alert notifies creditors to contact individuals before opening new accounts in their name. Individuals can call any one of the three major credit reporting agencies at the numbers below to place a fraud alert on their credit files and may obtain a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Experian – 1-888-397-3742
Equifax – 1-888-766-0008
TransUnion – 1-800-680-7289
Additionally, the Department of State has arranged to have LifeLock provide identity theft protection for one year to each individual whose partial social security information was released as a consequence of this inadvertent disclosure. If your partial social security information was released, you will receive instructions on how to take advantage of the LifeLock service at no cost to you.
The department is notifying all potentially affected individuals in accordance with state and federal law, including information on credit monitoring services. Pursuant to 45 CFR 164 and Section 501.171, Florida Statutes, this is notification that the Florida Department of State had a security breach, which affected 500 or more individuals in the state of Florida.