State employee data released

State officials have sent a letter to every state employee in Minnesota, telling them some personal data was inadvertently released.

When the state employee salary list was turned over to an unnamed individual, it included the city (but not the full home address) of every state employee, except for those in the judiciary and those who work for the Legislature, according to Tom Hanson, the commissioner of management inand budget for Minnesota.

Hanson’s letter is posted on the Web site for the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees.

We update the News Cut list of state data leaks below the fold:


January 2008 – Two Department of Public Safety customer service reps were suspended after an investigation into the unauthorized use of the state driver’s license database showed they accessed records of prominent Minnesotans from their home computers.

July 2007 – A University of Minnesota owned laptop with identity information on students is stolen from a car in California.

August 2006 – Two computers were stolen from an Institute of Technology employee at the University of Minnesota. Included were identities of 13, 084 students between 1992-2006, including the Social Security numbers of 603 of them.

June 2006 – A server backup tape contained Social Security numbers and other information for 2,400 Minnesota taxpayers and identifying information on 48,000 businesses was lost. The tape was sent in a package along with three checks totaling $2,400 and some interoffice correspondence. The package was delivered two months later.

December 2005 — Legislative Auditor James Nobles warns officials that the state’s most important computers remain vulnerable. A member of his staff says many state workers can view private information that is not required to perform their jobs.

April 2005 – A legislative auditor’s report concluded that hackers could get into the Department of Public Safety’s license tab renewal system and steal consumers’ private data. State officials shut down the Web site.

These incidents are on top of the gaffes by private organizations here who have your data:

November 2007 – A laptop with about 268,000 names and Social Security numbers was stolen from a blood bank.

May 2006 – Medicare drug benefit applications from Minnesotans and North Dakotans were stolen from an insurance agent’s unlocked car in Brooklyn Park. Information included applicants’ name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and bank routing information, according to the Privacy Rights Clearing House.

  • Kassie

    Funny thing, as a State Employee, this is the first I heard of this. Not that I care that my home city is listed, but I may if I lived in a small town and worked with sex offenders or violent offenders.

  • Jamie

    Doesn’t anybody at MPR edit or at least proofread stuff that appears on this website? I find so many typos and other errors all the time in stories on this site. This blog is especially bad.

    Tom Hanson is the commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, the new name for the combined Departments of Finance and Employee Relations.