Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Identity Theft

A dozen years ago, when I hired on in my current school district, it had a good reputation throughout the county.  Today that reputation is a distant memory, and here's one data point why:

Two teachers that I know of at my school, and one teacher at another school in our district, have had their identities stolen.  All three of them have had credit cards opened up in their name at local stores (TJ Maxx (believe it or not), Office Depot, and others) and those new cards charged up to the maximum limit.  Of course the teachers involved aren't financially liable for the fraudulent charges but that doesn't mean they don't have to go through an extreme amount of work to start clearing their good names as well as their credit records.

One of them notified HR and payroll today about a potential data breach, given that he personally knew the other two and hence knew of three instances in such a short amount of time--there might be others in our district.  Did the district people say they'd look into it?  Did they say they'd have our IT people see if there was a data trail pointing to a breach?  Did they say they'd send out a message seeing if it happened to anyone else?

No.  They said to report it to the police, as if that hadn't already been done.  Real helpful, that.

One of our union reps said she'd take it to the union president to see if she could put some pressure on the district to look into a possible data breach.  That's an appropriate role for the local union to play and I applaud this rep for trying to move this situation forward.  I don't understand why people at the district office would be so nonchalant about something obviously so important.

1 comment:

allen (in Michigan) said...

I don't really see what the mystery is. It's not a problem for the superintendent so it's not a problem for anyone in the administration.

If the superintendent were personally liable for a failure to exercise due diligence in the establishment of a safe working environment you'd see things change in one, big, fat hurry. But the superintendent has no such liability so no harm, no foul.