Blumenthal suing over stolen info

John O'Brien Sep. 20, 2007, 3:33pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - A technology consulting firm has landed in hot water with the State of Connecticut over a loss of confidential information.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced he is suing New York-based Accenture for illegal negligence, unauthorized use of state property and breach of contract. The suit is filed on behalf of state Comptroller Nancy Wyman, who contracted Accenture.

"Accenture deserves censure -- to be held accountable for allowing valuable secret data to be stolen and putting at risk state taxpayers, bank accounts and purchasing cards," Blumenthal said. "Accenture acted unconscionably and illegally. It breached its commitment to keep confidential this highly sensitive financial information."

Information on 58 state taxpayers and hundreds of state bank accounts and purchasing cards was placed on a State of Ohio back-up computer tape that was stolen in June. Wyman's office, Blumenthal says, was only recently notified.

Blumenthal is seeking damages and reimbursement for resources used to protect and secure the information.

"Transferring this data to Ohio is inexplicable and inexcusable," Blumenthal said. "Confidential information can have the value of cash -- especially in the wrong hands -- but Accenture treated it like scrap paper."

According to a report in the Stamford Advocate, Accenture spokesman Jim McAvoy says the company has begun a review and "based on what we know today, we believe our policies were not followed."

Wyman had hired Accenture to set up a new computer system. The tape stored information on 298 active state agency purchasing cards. The data on the tape, Blumenthal says, is difficult to get to, so the thief will probably not be able to view it.

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