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Lawmakers, Pritzker respond to IDES data breach

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Springfield, IL - A glitch in Illinois' new computer system created for 1099 workers to apply for unemployment is causing many to worry their personal information is in the wrong hands. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced the glitch Sunday night. But IDES officials still face intense scrutiny.

After months of waiting to apply for unemployment, some independent contractors and gig workers' personal information may have been leaked. At least one person was able to see a full page of information including names, social security numbers and addresses of claimants. Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) brought this to the attention of the Pritzker administration Friday afternoon.

"Do you have a protocol?"

"I don't just want to protect my constituents in the 115th, this is the entire state," Bryant emphasized. "Anybody that got on that site from the 11th to the 15th could have been compromised." Bryant specifically wants to know how the Department prepares for these situations.

"What was the protocol that was set up for letting people know? Do you have a protocol? Are you using it right now," asked Bryant. "Because maybe you've done everything you're supposed to do, but someone needs to tell me because if they don't I'm gonna keep shouting."

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) says the Pritzker administration should have told everyone about this issue on Friday. "You know, the governor's spokesperson said that we have it under control. But this isn't exactly like cleaning up milk that's been spilled on the floor," Durkin said. "This is greater than that."

Investigation underway

Without weekend press briefings, Gov. JB Pritzker couldn't officially address the issue until Monday afternoon. Pritzker says there is an ongoing investigation into how this happened. "It's important that we identify all of those who were affected by that breach. This is, as you know, it has happened in large corporations and other aspects of other governments around the United States," Pritzker explained. "We don't like it happening here."

Hence, Pritzker says the company behind the new system - Deloitte - will offer credit reporting services to anyone affected. Officials still don't know how many applicants had information leaked online. However, Bryant says the governor shouldn't have waited the entire weekend before telling residents about the issue.

"People have a right to have transparency from their government, and I know people don't trust the government. This is an example of why people don't, and it's a real shame."

Bryant stresses she won't let go of this issue until she knows every Illinoisan is protected.

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Mike Miletich

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