SALT LAKE CITY — One lawmaker is questioning the need for Utah's free credit monitoring service, which was established when hundreds of thousands of Utahns had personal information stolen.
More than 270,000 people's social security numbers were compromised when hackers broke into the Utah Department of Health's database in March 2012. In addition, up to 500,000 people had other sensitive information stolen during the same breach.
After the breach, state officials took action and established free credit monitoring services to those who were victims of identity theft. However, no one has claimed their identities were used fraudulently.
"Not one of those has come forward, so far, in a year's time," said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden.
The state has contracted an out-of-state agency to monitor credit at a $922,000 price tag, Christiansen said. He opposes the free credit monitoring system through the state, though he said the state is responsible to make sure compromised Utahns feel their identities are safe.
People are still going to say, 'The state has the money. Tell them to pay it.' Well, we only have so many dollars and they either have to go into one pot or another. I would rather it go into another.
–Sen. Allen Christiansen, R-North Ogden
He said he wants lawmakers to look at whether funding this credit monitoring is necessary and plans to ask other committee members to find other ways to make affected Utahns feel protected.
"We're going to spend a million dollars, practically, for one more year's peace of mind and that bothers me," Christensen said.
The Social Services Appropriations Committee oversees programs like Medicaid and other health care services.
Christiansen said there are a lot of other programs and services the committee would love to pay for, but they don't have the money. However, the state would be taking a gamble if they didn't offer credit monitoring services for the people who were compromised.
"People are still going to say, ‘The state has the money. Tell them to pay it.' Well, we only have so many dollars and they either have to go into one pot or another," Christensen said. "I would rather it go into another."