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FEMA Press Secretary Lizzie Litzow Statement on Major Privacy Incident

Release date: 
March 22, 2019
Release Number: 
HQ-19-021

WASHINGTON -- FEMA, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG), identified an incident involving the sharing of sensitive, personally identifiable information of disaster survivors using the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program.  In transferring disaster survivor information to a contractor, FEMA provided more information than was necessary. 

Since discovery of this issue, FEMA has taken aggressive measures to correct this error. FEMA is no longer sharing unnecessary data with the contractor and has conducted a detailed review of the contractor’s information system.  To date, FEMA has found no indicators to suggest survivor data has been compromised. FEMA has also worked with the contractor to remove the unnecessary data from the system and updated its contract to ensure compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cybersecurity and information-sharing standards.  As an added measure, FEMA instructed contracted staff to complete additional DHS privacy training.

FEMA’s goal remains protecting and strengthening the integrity, effectiveness, and security of our disaster programs that help people before, during, and after disasters.

 

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Last Updated: 
March 22, 2019 - 17:36