Human Error Could Be Reason for IDOC Data Breach

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Corrections is currently investigating a data breach on August 14 that leaked information on more than 1,000 employees into a FOIA request released to a private citizen.

Affected employees of Dixon and Lawrence Correctional Centers were notified immediately that names, job positions, salaries and social security numbers had been compromised. Officials say each of the employees will be offered free credit monitoring services.

The investigation revealed the private citizen had been requesting the information on behalf of an IDOC inmate. Authorities discovered the error after it was mailing to the inmate. The documents were intercepted and secured in the facility vault.

Officials say they interviewed the intended recipient, but no employee information was discovered. No discussions about the information were found in reviews of the inmate’s recent phone conversations.

IDOC staff also discovered the civilian never looked at the multi-page FOIA response and was unaware that it contained personal information. The civilian agreed to a polygraph test and tested truthful to these statements.

Preliminary findings suggest that human error led to the information being released without redaction or a full review. The IDOC is conducting a full audit of the FOIA unit and will take precautions to prevent further inadvertent disclosures.

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