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DCF Warns Personal Information of Child Care Workers has Been Exposed

5:42 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Department of Children and Families is sending out 100-thousand letters warning child care workers that their date of birth and social security numbers were exposed. Sandra Lawrence received her letter.

"When I opened it I was oh my goodness," she said. The moment of surprise quickly became what if?

"My info could be out there, somebody could be using my information," said Lawrence.

The letters are being sent to the day care facilities, not to the workers, which creates another concern: will everyone in the database be properly notified?

"I came to work this morning and my co workers were talking about the letter and I said what letter?" asked Markita Chapman.
Chapman recently changed jobs and feels the state should have notified her directly; she has yet to received the letter.

"Why are they sending the letters to the employers, I feel they should be sending them the address that is registered with DCF," she said.

The April 23rd letter reads in part," the child care licensing database may have been accessed by unauthorized persons," It adds, "the security defect has already been corrected."

The letter encourages workers, if they choose, "to place fraud alerts on their credit reports."

It ends with this apology: "we truly regret this unfortunate event."
"This is simply a measure we're taking just to be cautious," said John Harrell.

Harrell, DCF spokesperson, said his agency is confident the child care workers personal information has not been compromised.
"This vendor had an error this information should have been password protected," he said.

It was not so the state agency, as required by law, has put workers on notice, but they're sending the letters to the business and not the individuals who may be affected.

"In some cases we may not have addressed for these current employees," said Harrell, "but we wanted to be sure we let anybody know who's information was on this site."

Harrell said if the agency finds that the child care licensing information got into the wrong hands DCF will addressed that then.

"We don't feel the information was compromised, we feel we're taking the appropriate measures at this time," he said.
 

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