A coding error in Florida's new unemployment claims system inadvertently disclosed the names and social security numbers of several dozen people – the latest issue in a troubled launch of the new system.
The new "Connect" system has prompted complaints since it launched Oct. 15. Claimants report not being able to log into the system, seeing incorrect information in their accounts and problems getting through on the telephone helpline.
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The issue with the social security numbers involved 45 claimants and happened during the changeover, said Jesse Panuccio, executive director of Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity.
"Something in the computer system was coded incorrectly and resulted in an inadvertent disclosure," he said.
The information was included in electronic files that were sent to 122 employers, according to a letter sent to affected individuals.
DEO has removed access to the electronic portal where the information was displayed and affected individuals were offered free credit monitoring for a year, a DEO spokeswoman said.
The personal information issue comes after some Floridians complained about being included on a mass email from an official in the governor's office that displayed the email addresses of hundreds of people. That email thanked the recipients for contacting the governor about the unemployment system.
Meanwhile, some unemployed Floridians are still dealing with new twists in the process of claiming and receiving benefits.
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A Clearwater man told News Channel 8 that a debit card with his name on it arrived at his house this week, appearing to a vehicle for his unemployment benefits. He hadn't ordered or wanted the card, but expected his money to be deposited into his bank account, he said.
"When they hit me with this debit card last night, I thought, ‘What did they do with my banking information?' Is it safe? Is it not safe? Is it just up in the air or where did it go?" said David Kirkwood.
Asked about the debit card, a DEO spokeswoman said the new Connect system defaults to debit card payment if there are any issues with a claimant's bank account information in the changeover to the new system.
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