Denton County, Texas (“The County”) is providing notice of a recent incident that may have impacted the security of personal health information. The County takes this incident very seriously and this notification provides information about the event, The County’s response to it, and resources available to individuals to help protect their information, should they feel it necessary to do so.
On July 7, 2021, The County became aware of a vulnerability within the third-party provider application utilized by The County for its COVID-19 vaccination clinics that potentially exposed individual’s data hosted on the system to anonymous users. The County immediately shut down the third-party application and launched an investigation to assess the nature and scope of the vulnerability. The investigation confirmed that there was a configuration error on the third-party application that potentially exposed individual’s health information to anonymous public users. While The County has no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of any information, The County could not rule out the possibility of access to data present in the database. The County undertook a lengthy and labor-intensive process to identify the health information impacted in the database. The only health information potentially impacted was COVID-19 vaccination data. The County never collected social security numbers, driver license numbers, or financial account information.
What Information Was Involved?
The information that may have been subject to unauthorized access for each potentially affected individual includes name, date of birth, email, phone number, and COVID-19 vaccination information. Although this information may have been accessible, there is no indication that this information was misused. However, in an abundance of caution, The County is in the process of notifying individuals whose information was involved.
What Is The County Doing?
Upon learning of this incident, The County immediately disabled the third-party application utilized by The County for its COVID-19 vaccination clinics and commenced an investigation to ensure the security of the third-party application prior to reinstating The County’s use of the application. Since the incident, The County has also worked internally and with the third-party provider to implement additional security measures to increase the security of the third-party provider application utilized by The County.
What You Can Do?
While The County is not aware of any actual or attempted misuse of information as a result of this incident, The County nonetheless encourages you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your account statements and monitoring your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law individuals are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Individuals may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of their credit report, place a fraud alert, or a security freeze. Contact information for the credit bureaus is below:
TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094
Individuals can further educate themselves regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and steps to protect their information by contacting the Federal Trade Commission or the Texas Attorney General. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should be reported to law enforcement and the state attorney general.
The County regrets any concern this incident may cause. If individuals have questions about this incident, they may contact The County’s toll-free dedicated assistance line at 877-659-0604. When contacting the toll-free number, please reference engagement number B017844. This toll-free line is available 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Central Time, Saturday through Sunday (excluding U.S. holidays). Individuals may also write to The County at 110 West Hickory Street, Denton, TX 76201-4168.