Nuclear Workers Data Breach Revealed

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Nuclear Workers Data Breach Revealed

Craig, CO – The Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups (ANWAG) has learned and is  "extremely disturbed" that the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) failed to inform claimants that one of their medical contractors, Impairment Resources LLC, had computer files stolen on December 31, 2011.

These files contained claimant names, addresses, social security numbers, and medical records. ANWAG was alerted to this issue by a claimant’s authorized representative, Gary Vander Boegh, who forwarded this article on the break-in:

“I confirmed with OWCP Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation that they were notified of this breach in early February. Yet almost two months later they are still trying to identify which claimants have had their records breached,” stated Terrie Barrie of ANWAG. “I’m appalled that OWCP did not immediately issue a general warning that some of their claimants may have had their protected information stolen.”

“The lack of timely notification to the affected people seems egregious,” added Faye Vlieger of CWP. “I am highly indignant with OWCP withholding the facts. It shows a certain highhandedness of OWCP to assume there will be no damage done by the break in.”

“The persons injured by this breach of security need to be told what happened, how it happened, and why OWCP did not notify them in a timely manner. “ said Deb Jerison of EECAP. “According to OWCP’s procedures, they are responsible for ensuring their contractors safeguard all information about a claim.
Because of the lack of information provided by OWCP, it remains unclear how many of the 14,000 files belonged to the agency. ANWAG calls upon Secretary Solis to investigate OWCP’s failure to not only promptly inform potentially affected claimants but also explain why this contractor failed to secure its computer files, and to what extent this breach of security has put claimants’ personal information at risk.