Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/9/2012 3:42 PM

Private records removed from Illinois Commerce Commission site

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The state auditor found significant personal information about consumers filing complaints with the Illinois Commerce Commission published on the agency's website, problems the regulatory agency began fixing last fall.

Auditor General William Holland reported Thursday that the ICC's "e-Docket" complaint system held a wealth of readily available private data posted by consumers.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"Through basic use of search functions, we identified a significant amount of unprotected personal confidential information," Holland said, including Social Security and driver's license numbers and even credit history and medical data.

He said the disclosures appeared to violate state law.

ICC spokeswoman Beth Bosch said the commission posted a disclaimer in October on the e-Docket website urging consumers not to disclose personal information and scoured the website for such data.

"We've gone through all the documents we could go through and removed anything that might be private," Bosch said, "just to make sure we don't have anything in there that's inappropriate or could accidentally be disclosed."

ICC technicians also reset search functions to make it more difficult to find unidentified personal information, such as searching by an address alone, Bosch said.

The e-Docket is the formal way consumers make complaints against utilities and other industries the ICC regulates. Most consumer concerns are handled informally by telephone or other direct contact with a staff member, Bosch said. The agency does have an online form for those informal complaints, but the public can't access that information.

Bosch was uncertain under what previous circumstances someone filing a complaint would include confidential information.

In addition to the Web page disclaimer, a notice is now included on e-Docket forms warning that private information should not be included, Bosch said. And a staff member is reviewing e-Docket filings with an eye for personal information before posting the complaint publicly, she said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here