News Group chief responds to Berkeley privacy breach

Emile Raguso has more on a case where a response to a freedom of information request exposed Social Security numbers on 11,000 municipal employees:

Following this week’s disclosure by Berkeley city staff that roughly 11,000 municipal employee social security numbers had been erroneously divulged to a local media outlet in March, the media outlet’s managing editor said Tuesday that he doubted the data could have been compromised, though it had been “passed around” by employees over email.

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Berkeley City Manager Christine Daniel said April 19 that her staff had responded to the Bay Area News Group (BANG) request in March, then realized in early April that social security numbers had been mistakenly included in the file. City staff let BANG know about the error, and BANG agreed to destroy the information. Last week, the city sent letters to about 2,000 active staff members to let them know about the security breach; this week, the city plans to send another 9,000 letters to retired employees whose data was included in the file.

Read more on Berkeleyside.

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