NY: Arc of Erie County exposed client info for more than 2 years due to coding error

March 9, 2018 

The Arc Erie County New York (The Arc) was recently made aware that certain information contained on two spreadsheets stored on its database was publicly available on the internet between approximately July 2015 and February 15, 2018 due to a problem with a link on The Arc’s website.  This issue appears to have been the result of a coding error with the website and not a result of a malicious attack seeking protected information, and it appears that the issue impacted approximately 3,700 individuals enrolled in the programs offered by The Arc.

The Arc is taking this incident seriously and has proactively taken steps to protect individual information and prevent further disclosure.  Specifically, the defective link was deactivated and removed from The Arc website.  Additionally, The Arc is: working with a data security firm and various internet search engine providers to ensure removal of any information that might remain available through the internet; is conducting a thorough assessment of its data security to ensure there are no additional vulnerabilities; is taking steps to improve its privacy and data security practices moving forward by reviewing and updating policies, practices, and training; and, is notifying appropriate government agencies of this incident.

The Arc is fully committed to assisting any individual who may have been affected: The organization has sent notification to all individuals whose private information may have been accessible through the internet link;

  • The organization is providing potentially affected individuals with free identity theft protection services;
  • The organization has provided information and resources regarding steps for individuals to take with credit reporting agencies to help identify and prevent any potential unauthorized use of their identities; and,
  • The organization has established a hotline for anyone with concerns or questions.

If you have any questions or concerns, to inquire if you were impacted by this issue, or to obtain details about the identity theft protection services being offered by The Arc, please contact Christopher Porter, Chief Legal Officer at (716) 856-4201 ext. 1215 or [email protected]

Source: The Arc of Erie County

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