Fridays’ announcement that a hacker stole what could be 3.6 million Social Security numbers from the state’s tax agency has prompted more questions –and some criticism–of the governor’s handling of the incident, which happened two weeks ago.
Monday, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel insisted that the timing was dictated by law enforcement.
“It was done because we were conducting an investigation, we were trying the best we could to try and protect this information as much as we possibly could and by allowing us the time to conduct our investigation, we believe that this information is better protected than it would have been otherwise,” Keel said.
Gov. Haley took questions about how taxpayers will be protected. All of the coverage is for a year, and they will have to take decisions beyond that “one step at a time” says Haley.
The password into the ID protection website is SCDOR123 and the governor says anyone without a computer can get the help they need through the hotline: 1-866-578-5422.
Haley says she and her husband had their identity stolen in the past and that it took them over five years to recover. “I wish we had what we are offering people today,” she said. “That is why it is important to me that everybody have what we didn’t have.”
She says she will ask the South Carolina Legislature to help with the cost of this protection.
“This is why I say never spend all the money because you never know what’s going to happen and when something does happen, we have to be ready. And so when you go throwing money to parks and rooftops and all those things,this is what money should be saved for, it’s to protect the people of the state,” said Haley.
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