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Florida unemployment claimants report DEO security issues, question if personal information at risk

Claimant Julie Delk says she got a packet of her paperwork from DEO, and in it was another claimant's information.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Florida's unemployment system seems to be plagued by issues, and the unemployment maze keeps winding. 

Claimants dealing with Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the unemployment system for the last two years say it hasn’t improved. A local woman says there’s a security problem and your personal information could be at risk.

Julie Delk got a stack of paperwork from DEO. It was her appeal documentation. 

As she was combing through the pages, she found that 13 of her abut 70 or more pages were someone else’s, including their name, their claimant ID number, their employer information and much more.

“This page right here is me," Delk said. "The following page is not me.”

Delk lives in Jacksonville. In her hands, she holds her own information and personal information from a person in Orlando who applied for unemployment benefits. She says it makes her wonder whether someone somewhere has her information.

“To me, it is frightening they’re releasing other people’s information, not even paying attention," Delk said. "That’s going to cause security breaches again.”

It feels like it is happening again for Delk. She talked with First Coast News less than a year ago when her account was hacked.

“If Julie was a bad person, or if, you know, somebody else who received that information really wanted to try and take advantage, they could," said community activist Vanessa Brito. "I mean they have their social on there. The claimant ID is on there. The employers. Their address. Their number. Basically anything that you need to be able to take somebody’s identity.”

Brito has been working with claimants for more than two years. She says this is not the first instance of this happening.

She’s also been dealing with claimants who are trying to sign into their account to get their tax form and instead finding their email or phone number has been changed.

This always has led back to the same thing that happened two years ago, and then a year ago with the data breaches. Right?" Brito said. "Because there was a data breach in 2020. There was another in 2021. Now we are seeing it even with a multi-factor authorization system, which shouldn’t be happening.”

First Coast News reached out to DEO and our local state representatives. DEO spokespeople said they will look into the issue. We did not hear back from the representatives.

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