HARRISBURG - Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming) and Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny), along with House Majority Whip Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), yesterday spoke about the COVID-19 contact tracing data breach by the Wolf administration, missed opportunities to reduce the risks to Pennsylvanians and called for a full, independent investigation.
A WPXI-TV/Target 11 investigation that aired last Thursday revealed that more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians had their personal information accessible on the internet after answering calls from employees of Insight Global, which was awarded a no-bid contract by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to conduct contract tracing. Insight Global received the no-bid contract for contact tracing under Wolf’s emergency declaration powers and runs through July.
Wheeland and his wife believe they are two of the 70,000 victims of this identity theft data breach and he spoke about his family’s experience at the press conference.
“I certainly have a lot of empathy for those whose personal identification has been compromised,” said Wheeland. “It has happened to my wife just recently. At this point, we have no idea when it is going to end. In February, my own identity was used by someone to apply for unemployment benefits using my name and social security number. The Department of Labor granted this individual $195 a week. Soon after, my wife and I learned that our joint credit card was compromised and that this has been a common occurrence all over Pennsylvania. We still have heard no answers from the Department of Labor like so many other Pennsylvanians.”
Watch Rep. Wheeland’s comments here
The lawmakers feel that an independent investigation, either at the state or federal level, is necessary in order to hold all the involved parties accountable. The request includes a look by the state attorney general’s office, the House Government Oversight Committee and even any federal law enforcement agencies with appropriate jurisdiction.
Rep. Jeff C. Wheeland
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Haas