Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515
Five Years Later: Failed Oversight & Security Safeguards Put Americans’ Personal Information at Risk
WASHINGTON –Today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released a fact sheet outlining the numerous problems that have plagued HealthCare.gov – the online marketplace where the uninsured have been encouraged to shop for healthcare coverage.
Lax oversight coupled with inadequate security safeguards put consumers’ personal information at risk, potentially laying the groundwork for millions of Americans from almost every state to be taken for a ride by fraudsters or have their private information, such as Social Security numbers, stolen.
Unprepared: Two government watchdogs – theGovernment Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) – found that HealthCare.gov was given the green light to launch even though it was not ready for prime time due to ineffective planning and poor oversight.
Weak Security: GAO found security problems in state computer systems that link to the federal network and warned, “increased and unnecessary risks remain of unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification of the information collected and maintained by HealthCare.gov.” Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took actions to lower risks, OIG auditors remained concerned about some security issues, including the use of encryption technology that did not meet government standards.
Hacked: Well-known cybersecurity experts warned that HealthCare.gov was vulnerable to hacking in late 2013 and early 2014. Predictably, in July 2014, HealthCare.gov was hacked, and malicious code was uploaded to the website.
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