Rogersville personnel records accidentally leaked on Facebook - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Rogersville personnel records accidentally leaked on Facebook

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A photo uploaded to the city's Facebook page inadvertently included a sheet of payroll information. (Source: MGN Online) A photo uploaded to the city's Facebook page inadvertently included a sheet of payroll information. (Source: MGN Online)

City employees in Rogersville are on identity theft protection after personal records were inadvertently posted on social media.

When the city clerk for Rogersville began to create a Facebook page for the city, she scanned a photo of city hall and uploaded it to the page, unknowingly adding a sheet full of payroll information as well.

City officials said the photo contained the names and Social Security numbers for several city employees, including Mayor Richard Herston, the police chief, several police officers, and the city clerk herself.

The photo was reportedly live for about two hours before it was taken down. Even though it appeared no one had seen the page, the picture had already been leaked, and city employees were concerned about identity theft.

During Tuesday night's city council meeting, leaders decided to pay for one year of credit monitoring for all employees on the list. Everyone who was named in the photo has been contacted.

Mark White, a former police officer with the city, is one of the people contacted. Although he knows it was unintentional, he said he remains concerned about his identity being stolen.

"I've had fellow officers that I've worked with tell me they've had three or four calls in a single sitting for bogus credit cards or debt collectors, and that's going to cause a problem. They used the social security numbers and found out... other information, so it's a costly mistake," White said.

White has enrolled in a credit monitoring program and hopes people can learn from this mistake.

"It's a great lesson to know the technology and how quickly your information can be put out, so you need to have something to protect your identity," he said.

Mayor Herston, whose information was also briefly made public by the erroneous post, said it was an honest mistake, but agrees there are lessons to be learned.

"You've got to be really careful when you're using computers that have other sensitive information on them," he said.

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