Bryant Leads IL House GOP Inquiry on Unemployment System Security Breach

MURPHYSBORO – It has now been 7 days since State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) made the Pritzker administration aware of a potential data breach involving the private information of possibly tens of thousands of Illinoisans that applied for unemployment under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (PUA). 

Because Rep. Bryant still has many unanswered questions on the matter, she has now submitted a follow-up letter along with more than 2 dozen of her House Republican colleagues to try to gain some answers to important questions on the issue.

The full text of the letter contained below was signed by Rep. Bryant and many of her House Republican colleagues and forwarded to the Governor and the Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. 

Rep. Bryant also asked Governor Pritzker or his staff to confirm receipt of the letter.

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Here is the letter in its entirety and the names of House GOP signers:

May 21, 2020

Governor JB Pritzker
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Pritzker,

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, State Rep. Terri Bryant submitted a letter to your office asking for answers to several questions in regard to a possible massive data breach involving the personal information of tens of thousands of Illinoisans on the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s PUA web portal.

To refresh your memory, last Friday May 15, Representative Bryant received a panicked phone call from a constituent that lives in Mt. Vernon. While trying to file for unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the constituent came across a web page on the IDES website that contained the personal information of thousands of people that had applied for unemployment.

Upon learning of this potential security issue, Rep. Bryant immediately notified two members of your staff, and high ranking staff members of the Republican caucus of the problem. It is our understanding that the Acting Director of IDES also reached out to the constituent directly. We are relieved to know that someone at the Department acted quickly to resolve the problem and that the administration has since admitted that a data breach occurred.

However, Representative Bryant had further questions that she asked in her May 16 letter to your office. We, the undersigned members of the House Republican caucus are also demanding answers and explanations to the following questions.

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  1. How long was the personal information of unemployment applicants available for other applicants to see?
  2. Has the problem been fully resolved? Is there any possibility that thousands of Illinoisans that have applied for unemployment assistance through the IDES website have had their identity compromised?
  3. Will the State of Illinois or Deloitte provide ID theft protection and/or credit monitoring to persons impacted by this data breach?
  4. How many Illinoisans were impacted by this breach?
    As this data breach likely impacts tens of thousands of Illinoisans at a time they have been waiting for two months to be able to file for unemployment, we remain available to speak to you about this issue at any time, and ask the favor of an expedited reply to our questions on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

Terri Bryant
State Representative – 115th District

Margo McDermed
State Representative – 37th District

Grant Wehrli
State Representative – 41st District

Amy Grant
State Representative – 42nd District

Deanne M. Mazzochi
State Representative – 47th District

Thomas Morrison
State Representative – 54th District

Tom Weber
State Representative – 64th District

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Dan Ugaste
State Representative – 65th District

Jeff Keicher
State Representative – 70th District

Tony McCombie
State Representative – 71st District

Ryan Spain
State Representative – 73rd District

Dan Swanson
State Representative – 74th District

Lindsay Parkhurst
State Representative – 79th District

Tim Butler
State Representative – 87th District

Avery Bourne
State Representative – 95th District

Dan Caulkins
State Representative – 99th District

Mike Murphy
State Representative – 99th District

C.D. Davidsmeyer
State Representative – 100th District

Brad Halbrook
State Representative – 102nd District

Mike Marron
State Representative – 104th District

Thomas M. Bennett
State Representative – 106th District

Blaine Wilhour
State Representative – 107th District

Charlie Meier
State Representative – 108th District

Darren Bailey
State Representative – 109th District

Dave Severin
State Representative – 117th District

Patrick Windhorst
State Representative – 118th District