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Colorado's unemployment filing system potentially exposed private data of some people

CDLE: State aware of six people who had access to screens with data
colorado unemployment website
Posted at 3:05 PM, May 18, 2020

DENVER – The state’s computer system for unemployment filings last week potentially exposed the private data of some Coloradans who had filed for federal unemployment benefits.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said that the unauthorized access was fixed within an hour of it being identified on Saturday by a vendor the state is working with, Deloitte, on its computer system for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

The department’s deputy executive director, Cher Haavind, said there is “no evidence of any widespread data compromise” from the unauthorized access and that anyone who had the accidental access has been contacted.

She said that the department was aware of six people out of around 72,000 who had access to the screens that showed the data in a single-user session.

“Our data shows they either exited out of the system once they saw the screens or reported it to us once they discovered it,” Haavind said.

The CDLE said it is now offering free credit monitoring for the next year to the 72,000 people who have filed initial PUA claims.

“We hold the confidentiality of claimant data in the highest regard and took immediate steps to prevent any unauthorized access in the future,” Haavind said in a statement.

An email sent to claimants notifying them of the issue says that people need to enroll in the credit monitoring program by July 2.

The PUA unemployment is a federal program under the CARES Act that provides unemployment benefits to self-employed and gig workers who do not qualify for traditional unemployment.

As of the week ending May 9, more than 63,000 PUA initial claims had been filed in Colorado – part of more than 450,000 total initial filings in the state over the last eight weeks.