Pritzker’s Office Confirms PUA Unemployment Site Had Data Breach

By Benjamin Cox on May 18, 2020 at 6:26am

The State of Illinois’ unemployment system continues to experience woes. Governor J.B. Prtizker’s Press Secretary Jordan Abbudayeh said yesterday that the newly launched state system for processing unemployment claims for gig workers publicly exposed personal information.

Abbudayeh told the Chicago Tribune yesterday that the Illinois Department of Employment Security was aware of the glitch in the new system quickly and worked to immediately remedy the situation. Abbudayeh says there is an investigation underway to assess exactly what happened and how many people were effected by the glitch. She says those who were impacted will be notified.

The new online portal for gig workers to apply for federally funded unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program went live last week. The data breach was first reported by Chicago public radio station WBEZ on Saturday afternoon. The data breach allegedly showed claimants names, social security numbers, and other information in regards to their benefit case.

East Dundee Republican State Representative Allen Skillicorn said in a press release yesterday that he may file a resolution to recall the governor if the issues with IDES aren’t fixed quickly. Murphysboro Republican Representative Terri Bryant said on Friday that she wants the governor to clear up questions surrounding the breach after the Governor’s office failed to make the issue public on Friday when they were aware of the issue. Bryant had a constituent in her district send screenshots of their information making her aware of the breach. Bryant says she received confirmation from the governor’s office on Saturday that the situation was handled.

Pritzker has said multiple times that the IDES website was outdated and unable to handle the numerous claims made since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Updates to the website in April were the first to be done since 2010.