Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Karl Dean announced on Wednesday identify theft protection will be provided at no cost to the 337,000 registered voters whose personal information was contained on two laptop computers stolen from the Davidson County Election Commission over the holidays.
The Metropolitan Government of Nashville is contracting with Debix Identity Protection Network to provide affected citizens a full year of identity theft coverage from the date of registration and the option to renew for a second year of coverage for $9.50, a steep reduction from the consumer price of $99 per year.
"My goal is to not only protect the voters whose Social Security numbers have been put at risk, but also to protect the integrity of the election process. We're going into an extremely important election season and I want all citizens to feel 100 percent confident that they can and should participate in this process without worrying about their personal information being compromised," Dean said.
"The Election Commission is appointed by the state and the Commission hires its own administrator. While my office and Metro Government in general have no direct control over the management of the Commission, we have reviewed data security with the Election Commission and made a series of recommendations. I would encourage them to take action immediately to ensure an incident like this doesn't happen again," Dean continued.
Voters will receive a letter containing detailed instructions on how to enroll with Debix no later than next week. An enrollment form and an activation code will be included with the letter. Voters can use the activation code to either mail in their enrollment form or register for the service online.
Based on past experience, Debix expects 25 to 35 percent of affected voters to take advantage of the service. Under the contract agreement with Metro, Debix will receive $9.75 per account activation for the first 20,000 enrollees and $9.25 for all others.
The protection includes:
- Fraud alerts: Every 90 days fraud alerts with all three national credit bureaus are automatically renewed.
- Credit monitoring: Customers are notified in real-time via phone and e-mail on up to three numbers every time a new account for credit is being opened. Declined transactions are reported to the police within 24 hours after confirmation that the transaction was due to fraud.
- ID theft insurance: Each registered customer is provided with $10,000 of identity theft coverage with no deductible and direct access to an identity theft specialist. The insurance covers identity restoration costs, lost wages and legal defense fees.
- Stop pre-approved offers: Customers are placed on the National Do Not Call Registry if requested and opted out of pre-approved offers of credit and insurance.
Offering identity theft coverage is the final step in a series of actions taken following the security breach at the Election Commission.
The Mayor's Office has directed General Services to conduct a security audit of all Metro buildings, which is well underway.
Metro departments have been instructed to report their data security procedures to Information Technology Services by the end of this week to ensure existing protocols for storing sensitive information and using portable devices, such as laptops, are being followed.