Sunnyside School District accidentally releases employees' personal information

Sunnyside School District accidentally releases employees' personal information

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A pretty big mistake had Tucson's second largest school district scrambling to make sure its employees won't be hurt.

Personal employee information was accidentally emailed to every Sunnyside Unified School District employee. That's more than 2,000 people.

According to the district's IT department, at least 559 employees opened that email.

The explanation of what happened is in a separate email sent to all employees.

The district stated it sent employees' personal information to all employees Friday afternoon, March 3, about 1:11. The district says the information was accidentally attached to a memo from the Human Resources department.

It's the kind of personal information that could be used for identity theft.

"I'll use myself as an example. It had my title, my salary, my home address, my Social Security number, my employee number, where you work at," said SUSD Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Debra Bergman.

Bergman said the mistake was caught within 20 minutes and the email system was disabled.

She said she and the Information and Technology office spent Friday and Saturday deleting the information from everyone's email.

Bergman said the district knows who opened the emails and the four people who forwarded them and will be contacting those people to make sure the information is deleted.

On Monday, March 6, employees were given instructions on how to protect themselves.

Dr. Bergman said the district plans to spend nearly $14,000 on identity theft insurance for employees who choose to have it. Employees won't have to pay any out-of-pocked cost.

View the letter here: Susd Letter to Employees by Tucson News Now on Scribd

It's a price tag that worries some parents.

"Where are they going to get that money?" asked one parent.

She said Sunnyside is taking steps to make sure the mistake never happens again.

She would not comment on what will happen to the two employees who made the mistake, saying it's a personnel matter.

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