Government

Berkeley shared SSNs from 11,000 current, past staff

Christine Daniel

City Manager Christine Daniel said Tuesday that information from 11,000 current and retired employees had been mistakenly released.
Photo: Emilie Raguso

It emerged Tuesday afternoon that more people than previously thought had their social security numbers inadvertently released to a local news organization due to an error by a city of Berkeley employee.

City Manager Christine Daniel said Tuesday that the social security numbers of about 11,000 active and former employees were included in its response to a public information request about salaries from the Bay Area News Group last month.

On Friday Daniel said letters were sent to about 2,000 active city employees on April 15 alerting them to the mistake.

The city realized in early April that it had inadvertently included employee social security numbers in its response to an annual Bay Area News Group request regarding public employee salaries. The city took steps to ensure that the data were destroyed and that employees were notified.

Letters to the additional 9,000 retirees will be going out this week, Daniel said Tuesday. The delay for sending retiree letters resulted from the city needing to take “several extra steps” to get the addresses for former employees, she added.

Daniel said last week that the city has changed the way it will handle similar requests in the future to ensure that private employee information will not be released again.

Related:
City apologizes for inadvertent release of employee SSNs [04.22.13]

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  • guest

    The word “share” is really taking a beating here.

  • Bill N

    OK, the city screwed up. Tell me now what happened at the Bay Area News Group – that’s almost more important.

  • emraguso

    Good question, and something we can definitely try to follow up on.

  • emraguso

    Come again?

  • guest

    The headline and also, as originally written, the end said “in the future to ensure that private employee information will not be shared again.”

    “Share” in a context like this connotes intention as in the difference between “sharing secrets with the enemy” and “inadvertently revealing secrets to the enemy”.

    I blame Zuckerberg.

  • The_Sharkey

    Yeah, I take back what I said earlier about this not being a big deal. The pooch has clearly been screwed pretty badly.

    I thought the lavish pay and benefits that Berkeley city employees get were supposed to ensure that we got quality staff and were able to avoid these kinds of boneheaded blunders?

  • emraguso

    Gotcha. thanks :)

  • Judy

    Why would retired employee info be sent to BANG anyway? Am I missing something? I doubt BANG would ask for pensions retirees are receiving. Sounds like a massive indiscriminate data dump. Who’s manning the Finance or HR Department? Who is in charge?

  • Biker 94703

    Health and pension payments should be as much on the public record as is salary to current employees. It is particularly important data because while pensions are considered a secured obligation (pending decisions in Stockton’s bankruptcy), health insurance to retirees is not.

    Wouldn’t you like to know about our ex-City Manager who retired to Piedmont with a $250,000/yr for life pension? After all, it is our tax dollars that will plug the hole in the City’s under-funded and over-promised pension accounts.

  • Judy

    Yes, I would like to see EVERYTHING including pensions. Why doesn’t Berkeleyside post this information? Berkeleyside, could you please do this? It would be most informative for Berkeley residents. Now that would be a wonderful story. I would also request that all overtime be provided.

  • emraguso

    We’re going to see what we can do about that, but it’s going to take some time.