Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced plans Thursday to offer 6.2 million registered voters a year of free credit and identity theft monitoring services. The announcement came more than two weeks after a massive data breach at the agency exposed those voters’ personal information, including Social Security numbers and birth dates. An agency spokesman said the move is expected to cost $1.2 million, paid by the agency through reserve funds. Kemp said he has contracted with Austin, Texas-based CSID for services that will be available within 10 to 14 business days. Additionally, he said all Georgia voters in the breach whose identity is compromised will be eligible for identity theft restoration services if their identity is compromised over the next year.
“I am confident that all personal information is safe and secure. However, I believe Georgia voters deserve peace of mind regarding this incident,” Kemp said in a statement. “We are continuing our internal investigation and have hired Deloitte to conduct an independent audit of all of our IT operations. Georgians have my word this will not happen again.”
It is not clear whether the state may face additional costs, or whether confidence that the exposed data was relatively contained helped keep costs down.
In 2012, a massive data breach reported by South Carolina exposed 3.8 million Social Security numbers, and officials blamed hackers who got into the state’s system. South Carolina paid Experian at least $12 million to provide credit monitoring for victims. State lawmakers there also put an additional $25 million into the budget for an extra year of credit protection and to upgrade computer security.