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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FTC orders prison contractor to fix security exposures after data breach

Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security Federal Issues FTC Data Enforcement

Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security

On November 16, the FTC issued a proposed order against an integrated technology services company finding a violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the order, the company offered various products and services to jails, prisons, and detention facilities. These products and services included means of communication between incarcerated and non-incarcerated individuals, and, among other things, allowed non-incarcerated individuals to deposit funds into the accounts of incarcerated individuals. According to the complaint, and due to the nature of its operations, the company collected individuals’ sensitive personally identifiable information, including names, addresses, passport numbers, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, and financial account information, some of which was exposed as a result of a data breach in August 2020 due to a misconfiguration in the company’s cloud storage environment.

In its decision, the FTC ordered the company to, among other things, (i) implement a comprehensive data security program, including “change management” measures and multifactor authentication; (ii) notify users affected by the data breach, who had not yet received notice, and offer credit monitoring and identity protection products; (iii) inform consumers and facilities within 30 days of future data breaches; and (iv) notify the FTC within 10 days of reporting any security incident to local, state, or federal authorities.