HARTFORD, Conn. – More than 1,700 state workers recently learned that some of their personal information, including their names and Social Security numbers, had been inadvertently posted on the Internet.
The information on the Web site for the state Department of Administrative Services may have been there since October 2003, The Hartford Courant reported Saturday.
The employees were notified by letter just last week. State officials apparently learned of it last month when a state worker found his name on a site.
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"With all the attention that has been given to similar losses of data at the Veterans Administration and at banks and universities, I would have thought somebody would have been a lot more careful with that information," said Ken Clair, one of the 1,753 state employees who received one of the letters.
The personal information was included in a list of vendors used by the state and available to the public, according to Steve Jensen, a spokesman for the state comptroller's office.
Jensen explained the state sometimes sets up special payroll deduction files for workers and then those individuals are identified as "vendors" under certain pay codes. He said that might explain why someone might end up on a state vendor list.
Officials believe the risk for identity theft was low. The letter informed the workers that the list was accessible to the public only when a particular name was searched and not from a menu or specific link. The social security numbers were displayed with no hyphen and had a numerical suffix attached and were not easily recognizable.
"The majority of people have been very understanding of the situation," Jensen said.
Those affected workers have been advised to monitor their personal finance records the next few months.