Business and Economics

Privacy Breach Under Investigation

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The Indiana Attorney General says he’s greatly concerned about a potential privacy breach of thousands of low-income Hoosiers by an Oklahoma-based telecommunications company. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, an investigation is now underway:



TerraCom Incorporated distributes telephones to low-income Hoosiers through the federal Lifeline program, established under the Reagan Administration as a way to ensure those at or below the poverty line have access to a phone for emergencies and employment. State Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he was informed by a national media outlet that its investigation found Hoosiers’ private information such as addresses and social security numbers gathered by TerraCom was available on the internet. A TerraCom security notice says it’s investigating the possible security breach and working to ensure no further information is released. But Zoeller says he doesn’t think TerraCom is cooperating:


The fact that they pointed their fingers at the press who discovered this vulnerability – that’s a bad sign to me. They should be taking full responsibility.”


Zoeller says his office is working with Indiana utility regulators and the Federal Communications Commission to examine TerraCom’s operations in the state and pursue potential legal action. TerraCom could not be reached for comment. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.



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