Between December 17-23 Georgia residents can register for one year of free credit and identity theft protection by visiting the Georgia Secretary of State website and registering.
The reality of course that nothing in life is free and the Georgia voters will foot the bill for this epic screw up by our moron of a Secretary of State Brian Kemp who leaked our data. The “free” monitoring of up to six million people and the additional expense of an audit of this epic blunder will likely cost Georgia taxpayers many millions when all is said and done.
Personal information, including social security numbers, drivers license numbers and dates of birth of Georgia’s 6.2 million registered voters, was accidentally distributed to a dozen news and political party organizations and are now very likely in the hands of nefarious groups and criminals. These discs, called the “voter file”, are automatically updated to a number of different databases, which are then replicated around the country for use in voter targeting and other means. So this data is now well beyond the discs.
Brian Kemp’s office had done nothing to stop the flow of information prior to suit and did his best to keep this out of the news until a class-action lawsuit was filed. He claimed it was a simple clerical error and then fired an employee as a scapegoat. In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, longtime state programmer Gary Cooley said he did not have the security access to add millions of Social Security numbers and birth dates to a public data file — something Secretary of State Brian Kemp accused him of doing.
A website called FIREKEMP.ORG was established after the data breach. A Republican state senator also joined the ranks of those requesting Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp release public records detailing how a massive data breach in the office happened and exactly how outside groups handled more than 6 million voters’ personal information.
What’s done is done now. Hopefully this dolt Brian Kemp will do the right thing and resign, but for the time being all we can do is watch our credit very closely to ensure criminals aren’t having a wonderful Christmas shopping spree on our dime thanks to this idiot.
If you are especially worried I would also suggest you consider a credit security freeze. A credit freeze locks down your credit. You may place, temporarily lift or remove a security freeze with all three major credit agencies under state law or voluntary security freeze programs. A security freeze is designed to prevent the information in your credit file from being reported to others, such as credit grantors and other companies, except those exempted by law or those for whom you contacted the credit agency and requested that they temporarily lift the security freeze. This will stop crooks from opening credit cards in your name.
To create a temporary credit freeze contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies:
You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.
After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.