Warnings issued after possible security breach

Sasha Aslanian reports:

The state of Minnesota has directed all of its agencies to stop using a Texas company state officials hired to verify the identities of new employees.

A state official told MPR News that it is notifying some 500 employees that their personal data — including names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers — may have been accessible on the company’s Web site.

For more than three months, state agencies have used Lookout Services of Bellaire, Texas, to verify that new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The state had paid the company $1.50 a name to run employee data through the federal Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify program, which confirms that a worker has legal status and a valid Social Security number.

This week, Minnesota Public Radio was able to access state employee data on Lookout Services’ Web site without using a password or encryption software. Employee names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and hire dates were visible on the Web site for every state agency using the service.

Read more on Minnesota Public Radio.

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