Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and 29 other attorneys general entered into a settlement Friday that requires Premera Blue Cross, the largest health insurance company in the Pacific Northwest, to pay a total of $10 million to the states over its failure to secure sensitive consumer data.
Premera’s insufficient data security exposed the protected health and personal information of more than 10.4 million consumers nationwide to a hacker, including over 10,000 Nebraskans. Nebraska will receive $50,451 from the settlement.
From May 5, 2014, until March 6, 2015, a hacker had unauthorized access to the Premera network containing sensitive personal information, including private health information, Social Security numbers, bank account information, names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, member identification numbers and email addresses. The attorneys general alleged the hack was the result of Premera’s failure to remedy known weaknesses in the company’s data security program.
In addition to the payment to the states, Premera has agreed to implement specific data security controls to protect personal health information, annually review its security practices and provide data security reports to the attorneys general.
“It is vital that companies who maintain personal information of consumers protect their systems against known vulnerabilities,” said Attorney General Peterson. “When a new weakness becomes evident, swift action must be taken to correct the problem. When that does not happen, such as in this case, the personal information of consumers is at risk.”
Joining Nebraska in this settlement were attorneys generals from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
To obtain information about how to protect yourself as a consumer, file a consumer complaint, or report a scam, you can visit the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division website at www.protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov or call (800) 727-6432.