Victims file lawsuit against Department of Labor after personal information leaked

Updated:

The attachment contained Social Security numbers, dates of birth and names of nearly 5,000 residents over 55 from Cherokee and Cobb Counties who had visited the career center.
COBB COUNTY, Ga. —

A potential class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Cobb and Cherokee residents whose personal information was compromised by the Georgia Department of Labor. 
 
The victims are thousands of people who went to the Cobb-Cherokee Career Center in Marietta.
 
“I was shocked, it was unbelievable,” said Cobb County resident Thomas McConnell.
 
In September, McConnell said he received an email attachment from an employee at the Georgia Department Labor.
 
The attachment contained Social Security numbers, dates of birth and names of nearly 5,000 residents over 55 from Cherokee and Cobb Counties who had visited the career center. The same email was sent to hundreds of others.
 
“I am just appalled than an organization, such as this, let my information go where it went,” McConnell said.
 
McConnell is part of the lawsuit filed against the Georgia Department of Labor.
 
The lawsuit claims the state was negligent and invaded the privacy of the residents by publically disclosing private facts.  McConnell said he is constantly worried about identity theft.
 
“It wouldn’t have been that hard for the Department of Labor to be careful by encrypting it or password protecting,” said Scott Schweber, an attorney on the case.
 
In a letter sent to the victim, the Georgia Department of Labor apologized for the breach and offered the residents free credit monitoring for two years.
 
“Everyone is at risk of identity theft. It wouldn’t be fixed by just having credit monitoring for two years,” Schweber said.
 
McConnell said he wants to make sure the proper safeguards are put in place.
 
“All of this advanced technology and then turn around and have something like this happen is just crazy in my eyes,” said McConnell.
 
In the September letter, the Georgia Department of Labor said, “We take very seriously our responsibility to protection information entrusted to this agency and we are continually reviewing and updated system security controls to that end.”