What a week for oops compounded by oops at the state level.
We learned about how a private vendor printed the Social Security numbers of some 260,000 people on an outside label involving SeniorCare, Medicaid and BadgerCare mailings.
How incompetent can you get?
The state’s Department of Health and Family Services is now asking the attorney general to consider legal action in response to EDS Corporation’s error, saying the Texas-based company violated its contract, state and federal privacy laws, and it should be held accountable.
Of course, the mistake leaves tens of thousands of residents vulnerable. By early this week, those affected will receive a letter detailing how they can sign up for free credit monitoring, which, incidentally, will be provided by EDS at no cost to the state.
But that won’t erase the worry completely. Just ask the 170,000 state taxpayers who went through the same thing about a year ago when booklets were distributed through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue with their Social Security numbers visible on the outside mailing label. Two of the affected recipients work at the Tomahawk Leader and they worried for a long time. Fortunately, those fears seemed unnecessary in the end, but one simply doesn’t know.
You can pound it into people’s heads to keep personal numbers in a safe place. And, they try. Then something like this happens.