TN Dept. of Treasury Alert: Metro Nashville Teacher Consolidated Retirement Data Stolen

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Treasury; December 14, 2013:

The Tennessee Department of Treasury is informing active Metro Nashville teachers about a possible theft of personal information. The department determined on Friday that Steven Hunter, a former Department of Treasury employee, previously sent an e-mail with a Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System file that contained personal information, including Social Security numbers, full names, dates of birth and home addresses of 6,300 active Metro Nashville teachers to a personal e-mail address at an unencrypted personal computer. It should be noted that the personal information of retired teachers in Metro Nashville and active and retired teachers outside of Metro Nashville was not included in the file that was potentially compromised.

Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. immediately notified law enforcement officials, including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The TBI took swift action and seized Mr. Hunter’s personal computer and other electronic devices Friday evening at his home. The investigation by TBI is ongoing.

It appears that the contents of the active teacher file have not been disseminated to other people.

“This is a situation we take extremely seriously in the Treasury Department,” Treasurer Lillard said. “This former employee clearly violated Tennessee law and the Treasury Department’s privacy policy by downloading information that is clearly confidential under federal and state law onto an unencrypted computer. I want to thank the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and its special agents for their quick and decisive action which has clearly protected numerous Tennessee citizens.

“We believe this is an isolated incident,” Treasurer Lillard said. “We continually stress to our employees that they must follow department policies and procedures in handling sensitive information collected for the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System. This individual violated the public trust by downloading information to his personal e-mail account, regardless of his intentions.”

The Tennessee Treasury Department will continue to work with law enforcement officials on this matter and will notify all the potentially affected individuals to the extent required by federal law and Tennessee law.