Will SCDOR be liable for data breach?

FOX Carolina 21

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -Gov. Nikki Haley said her No. 1 focus after the South Carolina Department of Revenue had 3.6 million Social Security cards compromised is making sure people sign up for credit monitoring.She said it’s more important to move forward at this point, claiming that no one in their administration is at fault.

Lawyers in Greenville still wonder, though, if there’s anyone in the state they can blame.

In her third press conference Tuesday, Haley stressed that fingers should not be pointed at her own administration because the hacker used extremely creative and sophisticated measures to get into the system. She said it was something they couldn’t have prevented.

The State Law Enforcement Division is working with the Secret Service to find who, how, and why the Department of Revenue was hacked.

Upstate lawyer, Grant Varner, said Greenville’s legal community is brimming with talk about how taxpayers can go after the state, but so far he hasn’t found any real avenues by which to sue.

“Realistically, if the state merely made what I would call, an oopsie, just a minor mistake. [If] it was not something purposely done or just an egregious error, then the state by law will have immunity for this action,” Varner said.

The state has accepted the cost of suiting every taxpayer, and former taxpayer, with credit monitoring for a year. Haley said the state worked out a deal with Experian Monday night that will cap its cost at $12 million.

Haley said Experian is covering credit monitoring for a year, plus fraud resolution for life. That means if an identity is stolen after the first year, South Carolina will foot that insurance bill.

Haley said the 5,000 credit cards that were compromised from their old system were actually expired ones. She said no current credit card information was hacked.

The SC Department of Revenue says anyone who has filed a tax return since 1998 should visit protectmyid.com/scdor and enter code SCDOR123 or call 1-866-578-5422 to see if they are affected.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Report by Dana Wachter, Fox Carolina


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Full Opinion of Jennings v. Jennings

Jennings v Jennings

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South Carolina Supreme Court issues opinion regarding Stored Communications Act

FOX Carolina 21


COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled a man’s privacy was not violated when his wife’s daughter-in-law managed to get into his email and find out the name of his lover.

The justices unanimously ruled Wednesday that since the emails were still in the husband’s inbox, the daughter-in-law did not violate a 1986 federal law about email storage.

The case started when M. Lee Jennings’ wife found a card and flowers for another woman in his car. He admitted he was in love with the other woman, but would not give her name.

The wife turned to Holly Broome, who was the wife of her son from a previous marriage. Broome once worked for Jennings and was able to guess the answer to his security question and access his email.

Some computer users at the Coffee Underground in downtown Greenville said they were shocked by the court’s opinion.

“Obviously the privacy of having my own email is not going to be enough,” Ferah Mohammed said as she clicked through a website. “If that ruling stands, I feel like a lot of people are going to feel insecure about what they do on their email.”

FOX Carolina also talked to Grant Varner, a Greenville attorney. He didn’t represent anyone in the case, but said the lawsuit was filed under the Stored Communications Act.

“An email received that is not deleted or permanently stored somewhere for the purpose of a backup is exactly the same as letter that has come in the U.S. mail and left on the kitchen counter for the world to read,” Varner said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press/FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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