When Michigan state leaders neglected to act on lead in public drinking water, the case put Michigan in the national spotlight and set a new precedent for public water safety standards. At great cost… Could the focus of the next big precedent-setting case be Michiganders’ personal data?
This February, Detroit’s local Fox 2 News reported the State of Michigan’s breach of approximately two million social security numbers and other personal data. The State initially publicly reported a “potential data breach”. Then, on February 3, 2017, an internal communication at the State of Michigan told union employees, that the information compromised in the “potential” breach “does potentially include 1.9 million social security numbers of Michiganders.”
Long before the State of Michigan created the “Michigan Talent Investment Agency” in 2015, the newest in a succession of custodians of Michigan job seeker’s personal data, Michigan companies had been reaching out to the state with claims of their employee’s personal data, including their social security numbers, had been compromised. Companies began to notice fraud related to their employees social security numbers, and notified the state that something was amiss.