Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw calls Social Services security lapse a serious matter.
Social Services tossed confidential documents in unlocked containers, comptroller’s office says
Erie County’s Department of Social Services potentially imperiled the privacy of hundreds of county residents seeking benefits because of the sloppy and inefficient way in which workers disposed of old records, according to an ongoing audit by the county comptroller’s office.
Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw said department employees have been careless in how they discarded of sensitive data that the county received from individuals who applied and re-applied for government assistance. Among the inappropriately discarded documents, he said, were copies of birth certificates, personal medical records, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, tax returns, inmate records, payroll information, court records and passports.
“This is mind-blowing for two reasons. First, this would have been an identity thief’s dream. Also, this supposedly highly confidential material that our auditors were not allowed to look at, Social Services was dumping in unlocked boxes and bins and leaving them at the curb,” Mychajliw said.