– Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny) issued the following statement in response to a WPXI-TV/Target 11 investigation
that led to more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians having their personal information accessible on the internet after answering calls from employees of a firm contracted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to conduct contract tracing:
“I was shocked when a Target 11 reporter came to me on April 1 with information that thousands of Pennsylvanians had their confidential personal information available unsecured on the internet. Later that day, I contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health for information about the vendor and if it had changed its software in light of the suspected data breach. I received a reply that the department would look into my inquiry.
“After receiving no response, on April 7 I reached out to the governor’s office to alert them about this shocking data breach. They told me that they would immediately investigate. On April 13, the administration responded that these claims were looked into months ago and determined to be false. I took their word at face value.
“About a week later, the Target 11 reporter reached out to the department for reaction to this story. On April 20, the department then acknowledged to the reporter that yes there was a breach of confidential personal information and then immediately shut it down.
“Why didn’t the department or the governor’s office take action when they were notified months earlier and again by me in early April? How many more people had their information compromised because the governor’s administration failed to act immediately? Why isn’t the department immediately terminating the contract of this company? Who is going to trust them moving forward? This entire debacle reduces the public’s faith in government and breaks their trust.
“I am now calling for a full investigation and will join some of my colleagues on Monday to detail our plans.”
The 46th Legislative District includes Collier and South Fayette townships and Bridgeville, Heidelberg, McDonald and Oakdale boroughs in Allegheny County. It also encompasses Canton, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Robinson and Smith townships and Burgettstown, McDonald and Midway boroughs in Washington County.
Representative Jason Ortitay
46th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives