Coarsely shredded documents containing names and Social Security numbers of people who were employed at Eastern Illinois University in 2002 have been inadvertently released through improper disposal of the records.
EIU officials are still in the process of determining which years' information was made available; at this point, only records from 2002 are known to be affected. People who have been determined to be at risk will be notified once that determination is made.
EIU officials are working quickly to reach out to employees by e-mail, setting up a toll-free telephone hotline, and by procuring credit-monitoring services for affected employees. When arrangements are finalized, affected employees will be notified via e-mail and/or a university website.
In the meantime, those who might be at risk might find it useful to visit the Illinois Attorney General's website with identity-theft information: http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/hotline.html.
The university was notified by the Coles County Sheriff's Department at 10 a.m. Friday that shredded records had been dumped alongside a roadside. Contents of the bag were collected.
On Monday, a student worker in EIU's Records Management told a supervisor that he had taken that bag, as well as an additional bag, for use in a prank.
EIU employees collected contents of the additional bag during a thorough search.
EIU officials continue to investigate the incident.
Although the university's paper records disposal procedures follow state guidelines, it is instituting additional procedures to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.