EDS to pay for printing social security numbers

The company will pay for theft insurance and credit monitoring for up to 26,000 Wisconsin residents who had their social security numbers put on address labels.

Last week up to 260,000 Medicaid, BadgerCare and SeniorCare participants in Wisconsin received a brochure that had something extra on the address label--their social security numbers. As a consequence, the company responsible for the mailing, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) says it will offer those affected free identity theft insurance and credit monitoring with all three credit bureaus for one year. EDS says the monitoring plus the cost of resending the brochure will cost the company nearly $1 million.

A letter detailing the insurance and monitoring programs will be sent out next week. Affected customers will have 90 days to sign up for the protection.

An article by the Associated Press states, "the mistake was the result of human error. It occurred when data fields were merged to create the address label for the mailing done on behalf of the state Department of Children and Family Services to provide information about the state's new BadgerCare Plus program."

EDS has a $32 million contract with the state of Wisconsin. Over the last 30 years, the company has a flawless track record with Medicaid-related services in the state.

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    As CNET's resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security. Listen to his podcast at securitybites.cnet.com or e-mail Robert with your questions and comments.



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