The state’s Supreme Health official told the legislative committee Wednesday that unauthorized documents containing health information for 76,000 Pennsylvanians are believed to have been removed from the Internet.
for For the first time Since then Contact tracing data breaches In April, personal health information for thousands of Pennsylvania was released, and state health officials met with lawmakers to discuss new things. $ 34 million contract With another third party vendor.
Senate hearing Health and welfare services And Communication and technology The committee comes after the state health department cuts off its relationship with Insight GlobalA contact tracing company that violates the protocol by storing personal information in publicly accessible documents.
Due to the proceedings in dispute, Deputy Minister of Health Alison Beam and Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter couldn’t say much about the data breach, but reassured legislators that the state’s data system was secure. They added that Google Docs is no longer in circulation, as far as they know.
Beam confirmed that Google had been contacted about the breach, but could not comment on their response due to legal concerns.
“We are unaware of Google Docs, which continues to exist with all sorts of access from former employees of Insight Global, who have publicly identified Pennsylvania information,” Beam said.
Beam COVID Alert PA mobile app, Was compromised by a data breach.
According to Beam, Insight Global uses third-party contractors to identify all potentially affected individuals and provide free services to help affected people, including a free service to monitor credit information. We have opened a hotline.
Since its end $ 23 million contract With Insight Global on May 20, the Department of Health used National Guard for contact tracing services in Pennsylvania. The National Guard is acting under federal orders—that is, the federal government is paying for services, Beam said.
Last month, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications approved the Department of Health’s request for a one-year contract as the state’s new contact tracing vendor with a Boston-based public consulting group, but the contract has not yet been completed.
Senator Michele Brooks, R-Mercer, and other panelists have proposed that the Department of Health consider a contract with a Pennsylvania-based company. Senator Chris Dush, R-Jefferson, wondered why the new deal was $ 11 million more than the deal with Insight Global.
According to Beam, this increase reflects the rate needed to address the potential increase in cases of COVID-19 when students and educators return to school. Cases may increase again, “he added.
State health officials were expected to discuss data breaches at the Senate Communications Technology Committee in May. Citing the pending proceedings, Beam withdrew, but nevertheless did not stop lawmakers asking how the breach occurred and how many were affected.
Senator Kristin Phillips Hill, chair of the Senate Communications Technology Committee, has been vocally criticizing the Ministry of Health’s response to the situation with Insight Global, but on Wednesday she and other panelists said Pennsylvanians will be protected in the future.
“We have the opportunity to work together with government agencies, legislatures, etc.,” she said. “Through collaboration, we first have the opportunity to rebuild trust in the Commonwealth, ensure data privacy, and protect the highly sensitive personal information of the people of this federal government.”
According to Beam, the new contract will include safeguards to ensure that vendors process personal information and take control to prevent sharing of health data. Similar terms were included in Insight Global’s contract, but Beam said the Department of Health has “strengthened” expectations, security, and guidelines to prevent future breaches and increase vendor accountability. I did.
With the new vendor, information is limited to state-supervised systems, so there is no opportunity to share data through unauthorized databases, Beam said.
If the contract expires, the Department of Health will maintain in-house contact tracing services throughout the state, Beam said. She added that contact tracing efforts could diminish as vaccinations continue and the number of cases decreases.
“As a matter of public trust, the department takes the security and security of personal information very seriously,” Beam testified. “The contact tracing process is a core part of disease prevention and management in public health.”
Pa. How are Health personnel planning to use the new Contact Tracer to increase accountability and privacy?
Source link Pa. How are Health personnel planning to use the new Contact Tracer to increase accountability and privacy?