Pennsylvania National Guard now assisting with contact tracing after personal data compromised

PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania National Guard will now be helping conduct COVID-19 contact tracing after a Target 11 investigation. That investigation found the personal data of more than 70,000 people had been compromised by a third party vendor the state hired.

“We have now brought on the National Guard to make sure that there will now be a break in continuity of our contact tracing efforts,” said acting health secretary Alison Beam.

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State officials said as many as 50 guard members will be brought online in the next week to work closely with community health nurses to conduct COVID-19 mapping. The move comes after the state terminated the $29 million contract with Insight Global, the private company hired to do contact tracing.

Target 11 obtained a letter Insight Global began sending out last week alerting people about the data breach and offering free credit monitoring, even for minors. Some lawmakers are not happy it took nearly a month to notify people who were affected.

“That’s absolutely the most concerning part of this story. They knew about this in the beginning of April. Even in mid-April, there are emails that have been documented. Maybe they were aware back in February. This notification should have happened immediately,” said state Rep. Jason Ortitay.