Tag Archives: privacy

Government

News Group chief responds to Berkeley privacy breach

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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.

Bert Robinson, managing editor for the Bay Area News Group, said the news outlet collects public employee salary and benefit information each year for an online database that is “very popular” on the company’s website. Reporters send 900 requests each year to public agencies to collect data for the project. Robinson said this was the first year “usable information” had been received from Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Government

Berkeley shared SSNs from 11,000 current, past staff

Christine Daniel
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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. … Continue reading »

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Government

City apologizes for inadvertent release of employee SSNs

Christine Daniel
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A Berkeley municipal staff member mistakenly disclosed the social security numbers of everyone who works for the city while responding to a public records request, and the city recently sent a letter to staff informing them of the error.

One staffer, who asked not to be identified, called the mistake “appalling,” and another criticized the city for taking weeks to inform employees about the breach. … Continue reading »

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Election email overload: What gives?

One California voter takes a look at a day of campaign mailers. Photo:  Robert Couse-Baker
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By November in a big election year, many residents are familiar with the daily handful of campaign literature that bursts forth from the mailbox in the form of pamphlets, sample ballots and oversized postcards.

But we heard from several readers this election season who noticed an onslaught of campaign emails in their virtual inboxes as well, from a wide variety of sources.

One reader connected the emails to his decision to opt out of receiving the sample election ballot; he said the Registrar of Voters’ office asked for an email address for confirmation purposes when he opted out.

He said he was concerned to find his information turning up in the hands of third parties without his permission.

He wrote: “If Facebook was doing this people would scream bloody murder. Plus I still get paper sample ballots anyway. Not a catastrophe, I understand, but sketchy as hell…” … Continue reading »

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