FEMA Releases Additional Personal Information to Contractor
WESLACO - A federal agency tasked with helping disaster survivors put the information of millions at risk.
The Homeland Security Department’s Office of Inspector General found FEMA wrongly released the personal information of millions of people.
The information was released to a contractor that helps provide temporary housing to disaster victims.
The list of ‘at risk’ data includes the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and those impacted by the 2017 California wildfires.
Investigators say the contractors did require some information such as names, last four digits of social security numbers, and household numbers.
FEMA sent information that was not needed such as bank names, electronic fund transfer numbers, and bank transit numbers.
According to the Government Watchdog, FEMA violated both federal privacy laws and Homeland Security policy by releasing the additional data.
FEMA is working with the contractor to remove the data from its system.
An agency spokesperson adds that they don't believe personal data was compromised.
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