CMS notifies applicants of personal data breach

A CMS employee disclosed personal information to an outside contractor without obtaining appropriate authorization.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools notified more than 7,000 people who applied for jobs with the school system that their personal information was shared with an outside contractor without prior authorization.

But the school district says the information was not used maliciously and the contractor has agreed to destroy the data. The data was used to compile an online database of potential new employees.

Information that was provided to the contractor included applicants' name, address, and Social Security number.

A security breach does not necessarily mean that those affected will become victims of identity theft, so the school system is urging people to not panic; however, there are a few things those affected should keep in mind.

According to Privacy Rights Clearing House, the first step is to figure out what type of breach occurred. In this particular case, the breach involved Social Security numbers, which could result in what's called "new account fraud."

The PRCH says you should place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports when you learn your Social Security number has been compromised. They also advise monitoring your credit reports regularly for any suspicious activity.

Every individual who received a copy of the letter from CMS also received a North Carolina notification requirement, stating that by law, anyone can obtain a copy of their credit report for free.


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