Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Urges Identity Theft Protections, Explanation For Teachers Impacted By Security Breach

July 14, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal -- citing an eight-month delay by the State Teachers’ Retirement Board in notifying 58,506 individuals about a security breach -- urged the board to provide credit monitoring and other identity theft protections.

            The board notified Blumenthal’s office in December of last year that a flash drive, though encrypted, was missing. The drive contained names, addresses, salaries, the last four numbers of Social Security numbers and other sensitive information about individuals that could be misused.

Blumenthal had urged the board to “immediately notify all individuals whose information was contained on the flash drive, explaining the loss, the information contained on the flash drive and any safety and security information the board and the Department of Information Technology believe is appropriate.”

Despite Blumenthal’s urging, notifications were not distributed until June, about six months after the breach was discovered, and the notices failed to explain the nature of the breach and categories of information compromised.

“Tens of thousands of individuals impacted by this security breach deserve the specifics and safeguards to protect against identity theft,” Blumenthal said. “The Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement Board has a moral and professional duty to promptly notify its members when private information is compromised, and provide protections.

            “The board should do the right thing immediately: explain the problem and offer security.”

Several teachers have contacted Blumenthal’s office with questions and concerns about the breach, noting the lack of information in the board’s brief notification letter.

Blumenthal said the board must send a new notification letter more fully explaining the facts and offering identity theft protection for two years, including at least $25,000 of identity theft insurance and reimbursement for costs associated with placing and lifting a security freeze with each of the three credit rating agencies.