Controller faults computer security in Department of Human Services

The city’s Department of Human Services needs to improve security for the computer system that keeps records on troubled children and youth, City Controller Alan Butkovitz said Wednesday in a report on the department’s Family and Child Tracking Systems.

DHS did not perform security background checks on employees of the software contractors who developed and maintain the system, Butkovitz said, and former city social workers have continued to have access to it, including one who left the city payroll more than 15 years ago.

“Unauthorized access increases the risk that confidential data could be compromised and abused,” Butkovitz said in a news release. His office said it was unaware of any actual situations where unauthorized personnel looked at case records.

DHS told the controller’s office that it was upgrading its computer security with new safeguards to be in place in December.

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