Posted : December 31, 2015All News...
The Regional Income Tax Agency of Ohio (RITA) Provides Notice of Data Security Incident
BRECKSVILLE, OHIO - December 31, 2015 – The Regional Income Tax Agency of Ohio (RITA) has determined that personal information contained in tax documents supplied by certain individuals may be at risk after an internal investigation revealed a DVD containing this information was missing and cannot be located.
On November 10, 2015, while in the process of preparing a limited number of DVDs for secure destruction, RITA discovered that one DVD case was empty and the DVD missing. RITA conducted a thorough investigation to locate the DVD and identify what information may have been contained on the missing device. On November 17, 2015, RITA determined that the DVD, which was used as part of its former system back-up process, contained copies of income tax documents submitted on or before June 2012. The DVD may have contained such personal information as name, address, Social Security number, and possibly date of birth of approximately 50,000 individuals, which represents less than 2 percent of the tax accounts handled by RITA.
DVDs used to back-up certain systems had been stored off-site at a third-party vendor’s secure facility, and were recalled by RITA to be securely destroyed. This action was being taken because RITA had moved to a new, more secure backup system which made the DVDs obsolete.
RITA provided written notice to affected individuals whose information may have been contained on the DVD. These individuals were eligible to receive credit monitoring and identity protection for one year at no cost to the individual through Experian.
The privacy and protection of customer information is a top priority for RITA, which deeply regrets any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause. As part of its commitment to protect the privacy and security of taxpayer information, RITA continues to evaluate ways to improve its processes and systems to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future.
RITA provides comprehensive tax collection services for municipalities throughout the state of Ohio.
Media Contact: Amy Arrighi; email@example.com
Regional Income Tax Agency
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Online
1. What happened?
On November 10, 2015, while in the process of preparing a limited number of DVDs for secure destruction, we discovered that one was missing. We immediately began an investigation to try and locate the missing DVD and to identify what information was on this device. On November 17, 2015, we determined that the DVD contained backup copies of income tax documents submitted on or before June 2012. The DVD may have included a limited number of taxpayers’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and possibly dates of birth. If financial information was submitted with the municipal income tax documents, this may also have been contained on the DVD.
2. What was the DVD used for/why was it created?
The previous process for backing up some of our systems required that we use the DVD to store data. We have a new process in place that is more secure, and no longer requires the use of DVDs as part of this process.
3. How did you learn about this event?
After changing our back-up process to a more secure system, we recalled the DVDs used as part of the previous process that were stored at an off-site facility to have them destroyed securely. It was at this time that we discovered the DVD was missing.
4. How could something like this happen?
From our investigation, we believe the DVD was most likely destroyed in accordance with our usual process for unlabeled DVDs. If an unlabeled DVD is found, it is shredded and destroyed.
5. Why did you have my information in the first place?
You or your tax preparer submitted tax return or refund request information on or before June 2012. You either have (or had) income earned while living or working in an Ohio municipality that uses RITA to handle municipal income tax collections.
6. What personal information was exposed?
The DVD appears to have contained backup copies of income tax documents submitted on or before June 2012. The DVD may have included a limited number of taxpayers’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and possibly dates of birth. If financial information was included with the municipal income tax documents, this may also have been contained on the DVD.
7. What are you doing to protect me or my information?
A letter was sent to impacted individuals with instruction on how to enroll in these services. We partnered with Experian® to provide impacted individuals with identity protection services. The enrollment period for those services was from December 31, 2015 through March 31, 2016 and is now closed.
8. What are you doing to prevent this from happening again?
We discovered the DVD was missing because we had already changed our backup system to a more secure process. This new process no longer requires the use of DVDs to backup this type of data. These changes are part of our commitment to look for ways to improve our security processes and systems.