HARRISBURG – Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) is calling for an end to the governor’s no-bid contracting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The privacy of Pennsylvania citizens, especially their health care information, should always be protected. It was reported last week that the contact tracing data breach by the Commonwealth-contracted Insight Global, a staffing agency hired via a no-bid contract by the Commonwealth to contact people who tested positive for COVID-19, compromised the health metrics of nearly 72,000 Pennsylvania residents. The compromised data points included name, contact information, COVID-19 testing status, sexual identity as well as other personal data points.
“This breach of the public trust is unacceptable, and the fact that the company was hired by the Commonwealth via a no-bid contract is even more unacceptable,” said Gaydos, who co-chairs the bipartisan House Cybersecurity Caucus, with Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chester/Delaware), a former utility cybersecurity attorney and former terrorism federal prosecutor.
On Monday, Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Allegheny/Washington), Majority Whip Oberlander (R-Armstrong/Clarion/Forest) and House Leadership called for an investigation on the data breach. Insight Global’s violation of the terms of its contract requested that Insight Global’s contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of the Commonwealth be terminated immediately.
Last fall, Gaydos expressed her concern when the Department of Health entered into a no-bid contract with Near Form, a contact tracing application development company based in Ireland. Gaydos questioned the administration on the measures that would be taken to ensure the security and privacy of the data collected. “Unfortunately, our warnings about the dangers of circumventing checks and balances during a disaster declaration have come true. It also appears that breaches are not just limited to health,” said Gaydos. “This breach of the public trust underscores why Gov. Wolf’s unilateral decision-making during the pandemic is on the May 18 ballot.”
For more information regarding the ballot questions visit here
The House Cybersecurity Caucus founded by Reps. Gaydos and Williams provides members opportunities to learn more about the various types of emerging cyber threats, cyber-crime, cyber-attacks and data breaches that occur, how it can affect government data, and how best to protect constituents, businesses and all Pennsylvanians.
Gaydos welcomes people with questions or concerns to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her office at 412-262-3780.
Representative Valerie Gaydos
44th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner