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Reps. Sobecki, Crossman applaud start of credit monitoring services from ODJFS, call for additional cybersecurity measures to protect the personal information of Ohioans

January 25, 2022
Jeffrey A. Crossman News

COLUMBUS – Today, State Reps. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Jeffrey Crossman (D-Parma) issued statements after the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) announced it will offer credit monitoring to thousands of Ohioans who had their identities stolen in relation to their Ohio Unemployment Claims. The representatives acknowledged the necessity of the credit monitoring, but called for additional cybersecurity measures to be taken to protect Ohioans’ personal information. 

In September 2021, the representatives filed House Bill (HB) 432, which would have required state agencies to provide three years of free credit monitoring to the affected Ohioans in the case of a data breach, and would require the State Chief Information Officer to conduct a risk assessment every two years of state technology infrastructure. To date, this bill has not had a single hearing.

“The announcement that ODJFS will finally provide credit monitoring is welcome, but long overdue. Thousands of Ohioans reported that their identities were stolen over a year ago, and they deserve better protection,” said Rep. Sobecki. “I encourage Republican leaders in the state to fully investigate the hacking, and to do more to ensure that widespread identity theft like we saw with the Ohio Unemployment System doesn’t happen again.”

“The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one, and providing free credit monitoring is a long overdue action needed from Ohio Jobs & Family Services” said Rep. Crossman. “While ODJFS refuses to acknowledge that their systems have been hacked, we’ve heard directly from constituents who clearly have been impacted. Refusing to even refer to these incidents as ‘hacking’ misrepresents the problems ODJFS has had. Delaying the availability of credit monitoring that my colleague and I demanded months ago only created further harm for Ohioans and emboldened the criminals responsible. Nevertheless, we appreciate that ODJFS is finally taking this problem seriously.” 

Throughout the pandemic, Reps. Sobecki and Crossman have continued to call for accountability at ODJFS and for the agency to do more to protect the personal information of Ohioans. Additionally, they called on Governor DeWine to activate the Ohio National Guard Cyber Reserve to fully investigate the hacking of the State Unemployment Systems. So far, the governor has taken no action to investigate the data breach.