State Comptroller Susan Combs announced on April 11, 2011, that personal information of 1.2 million members of the Texas Teacher Retirement System (along with 2 million-plus records from other state agencies) was inadvertently made publicly available for more than a year on an agency server accessible to the public. There is no indication at this time that the information, which included names, addresses, Social Security numbers and birth dates, was misused. An informational website with more details and recommended actions has been set up, or individuals can call 1-855-474-2065 (a toll-free number).

The problem was discovered March 31, 2011, but the data had been kept unsecured on the server for more than a year. There was no link that would have directed casual users of the comptroller's website to the data.

The initial news release appeared to place blame on the state agencies transmitting the information to the comptroller’s office (TRS, ERS and the Texas Workforce Commission). That assertion has been disputed by the agencies, the deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Information Resources, and others, who maintain that the information was transmitted according to state protocol but was mishandled after arriving at the comptroller’s office.

It is important to re-emphasize that no reports have been made of improper use of the information. TCTA has requested that the comptroller’s office provide the affected individuals with free credit monitoring, but has not yet received a response.

TCTA will update our members with any new developments on this situation.