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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the Florida Department of Labor. They get the award for the following.

Florida's Labor Department unwittingly posted the names and Social Security numbers of more than 4,600 of its clients on the Internet last month, only to discover the error when a Fort Walton Beach man Googled his own name, an agency spokesman said Tuesday.

Since the information was not linked to any Web site, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, as the department is known, reported that it has no reason to believe anyone else accessed it.

But as a precaution it sent out letters last week to the 4,624 individuals, all of whom had enrolled for services with one of the 24 regional workforce boards across the state, spokesman Warren May said.

"Given the fact that we were trusted with this information, we're very apologetic that it happened," May said.

The letter included details about how to prevent identity theft as well as contact information for the three major credit-monitoring firms so residents could request fraud alerts.

"We also told them that, although we have no reason to believe that anyone has seen their Social Security number, we also believe they should take precautions," May said.

In Palm Beach County, the breach affected 121 people obtaining job-seeking assistance or other help from the local board, Workforce Alliance.

To the north, 137 people in the four-county area covered by the Workforce Development Board of the Treasure Coast were involved, said Deborah Davis, the board's One-Stop system manager.

"If any customers come into our center that have received the letter, we're reassuring them that their information was not compromised, and we're also giving them a number to call," Davis said.

So far, no one has contacted the local office about the breach, she said.

The names and Social Security numbers made it online around Sept. 1, when a workforce agency staffer in Tallahassee was uploading information to a "test server" and accidentally included the confidential data, May said.

Accident or not, this is just plain incompetence with information that needs to be kept secret. For exposing thousands of people to identity theft, The Florida Department of Labor is today's knucklehead of the day.

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