A company hired by the state of Minnesota under former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly failing to protect sensitive data.
In 2009, a Minnesota state employee discovered weaknesses in Texas-based Lookout Services' data practices. The personal data of 500 Minnesota state employees and 37,000 consumers nationwide was visible online.
Kandi Parsons, staff attorney with the division of privacy and identity protection in the Federal Trade Commission, said Lookout Services will enter into a 20-year agreement with the FTC.
"What we hope happens as a result of the settlement is that the company itself will implement better practices and understand that data security is an ongoing process, it's not a one-time thing that you never look at again," Parsons said.
Parsons said by entering into the settlement, Lookout Services admits no wrongdoing, and will pay no fine.
The FTC also hopes the settlement will spur other companies to examine their own data practices and the claims they make about security, Parsons said.
Lookout Services was not immediately available for comment.