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Lawsuit Filed Against Pennsylvania Department Of Health, Global Insight Over Contact Tracing Data Breach

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the company it hired to do contact tracing.

A COVID-19 contact tracing breach in Pennsylvania impacted at least 72,000 people. The number of people whose data has been compromised could grow, according to cyber security experts.

A New Kensington woman filed the lawsuit, alleging the data breach was a result of the Department of Health and Atlanta-based Insight Global failing to implement cybersecurity procedures and protocols necessary to protect private health information.

According to the lawsuit, Insight Global knew about the breach as early as November of last year and the Department of Health was notified as early as February, yet no one took action to secure the private health information until at least April.

The Department of Health says Insight Global had disregarded safety protocols, with some employees creating Google accounts to share data, including information gathered from contact tracing calls. Those documents were left unprotected and that made them vulnerable to access.

The leaked information includes names, phone numbers, email addresses, genders and COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure. However, financial accounts and social security numbers were not part of those lists.

Insight Global has said they will notify those who may have been affected.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said in a statement that they hadn't been served a lawsuit and they generally don't comment on litigation.

Last week, Insight Global opened a hotline for those who may be concerned their data was exposed. They will also provide credit monitoring and identity protection services. Those wanting to check if they were affected by the data breach can call the hotline at 1-855-535-1787.

The state has said that their computer systems and contact tracing app were not impacted. The Department of Health said they will not renew their contract with Insight Global in July.

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