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DESE to offer identity theft monitoring to educators affected by data vulnerability incident

Posted at 11:14 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 12:14:30-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is offering 12 months of credit and identity theft monitoring to the approximately 620,000 educators affected by the recent data vulnerability incident.

DESE announced Wednesday in a release that they will begin to send letters to certified educators whose "personally identifiable information" may have been compromised.

In mid-October, Gov. Mike Parson announced that he was asking for state investigators to look into the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's actions after they reported to DESE that the social security numbers of 100,000 Missouri educators were vulnerable to public exposure.

The release said that "the state is unaware of any misuse of individual information or if the information was accessed inappropriately outside of an isolated incident," but the state will be offering the year of credit and identity threat monitoring resources out of an abundance of caution.

“Educators have enough on their plates right now and I want to apologize to them for this incident and the additional inconvenience it may cause them,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said in the release. “It is unacceptable. The security of the data we collect is of the utmost importance to our agency. Rest assured that we are working closely with OA-ITSD to resolve this situation.”