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Big Texas Government Screw-up
Old 04-11-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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Big Texas Government Screw-up

Texas Safeguard: Comptroller's Office Begins Notification of Personal Information Exposure

"The Texas Comptroller’s office is sending letters beginning Wednesday, April 13, to notify a large number of Texans whose personal information was inadvertently disclosed on an agency server that was accessible to the public. The records of about three and a half million people were erroneously placed on the server with personally identifying information."

And the statement that always makes me see red in these "inadvertant exposure" situations:

"There is no indication the personal information was misused."

No, you have no friggin' idea if any of it has been misused or not, because nobody came up to your office, danced around your desk in circles, and gleefully shouted 'I've got your social security number, name and address, and maybe your driver's license number, too, naaa naaa naaa naaa.

So, after screwing it up totally, how will the state of Texas make amends for this data being exposed? Free credit monitoring for all those exposed for 2 years? 1 year?
No, they create another website with some "helpful hints" on how you can check, after the fact, if your info has been used to your detriment, after it finally shows up at one or more credit bureaus.

“I deeply regret the exposure of the personal information that occurred and am angry that it happened,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. “I want to reassure people that the information was sealed off from any public access immediately after the mistake was discovered and was then moved to a secure location. We take information security very seriously and this type of exposure will not happen again.”

Uh-huh. The data of 3.2 million people had been exposed for over a year! And the other 281,000 people's data had been exposed for 11 months. So what do we need to solve this once and for all?
Hmmm, let's see... Wait, I Know, I Know! That's right... more legislation!

"The Comptroller views the protection of personal information as a serious issue. She will be working with the Legislature to advance legislation to enhance information security as outlined in the Protecting Texans’ Identities report she released in December. This would include the designation of Chief Privacy Officers at each agency as well as the creation of an Information Security Council in the state."

Typical government smokescreen for their inability to follow their existing procedures, and to check if they were indeed being followed. Need new legislation... we need that legislation, THAT would have prevented it. Sure it would.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:57 AM   #2
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This is the same Susan Coombs who headed up - and royally screwed up - the Texas Efficient Energy Appliance Rebate Program in 2009. I had to contact a state legislator to get her agency to issue my widowed sister-in-law her rebate check.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:42 AM   #3
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Cue the massive class action lawsuit...
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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I thought Texas had all their financial operations is good order so that they should be a model for the rest of the country, as least so their politicians claim.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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Seems everythings bigger in Texas, even the size of their screwups!
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:12 AM   #6
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I resemble that remark...
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Don't mess with Texas -- the Comptroller's office can do enough of that on its own...
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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At least Texas politics "seem" cleaner than that of Illinois which is one dirty-dirty State.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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Somewhat related to Texas finances--did a bunch of educators get laid off yesterday (including Ally's husband)?
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
I thought Texas had all their financial operations is good order so that they should be a model for the rest of the country, as least so their politicians claim.
Looking at the last phrase in your above sentence, I think I see the source of your misunderstanding...
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
I thought Texas had all their financial operations is good order so that they should be a model for the rest of the country, as least so their politicians claim.
And we know politicians wouldn't lie....
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:00 PM   #12
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Would someone like to explain how an internet screw up has to do with Texas's financial condition and politician? Seems to me like another political motivated cheap shot, which is being practiced too much these days by both sides! What ever happened to 'If you don't have anything nice don't say anything at all'. Yea, and, I'm guilty sometimes of the same thing!
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:23 PM   #13
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To err is human. To really screw up, you need a computer...
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Somewhat related to Texas finances--did a bunch of educators get laid off yesterday (including Ally's husband)?
So far they haven't done anything in my husband's department. The higher ups at the university are still meeting. We have heard that they need to lose about 35% of employees. That is massive.

Texas requires a balanced budget and we have no state income tax. So when they are predicting a 28 billion dollar shortfall for the next two years, it's rough.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #15
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Inadvertent translates to some idiot was careless or they have poor security practices.

Any fool would know that type of information should not be made available to the public.

Sending out a notification is good... but these things seem to happen all too often.

Private companies sometimes get sued... suing the govt just results in suing yourself.

Funny how you never read in the same story.... "The person that was responsible (i.e., caused) for the problem was fired (or at least reprimanded)".
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