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Fired Tooele County worker accidentally receives sensitive data

Published March 27, 2013 9:06 pm

Security • Man reluctantly hands over CD as he appeals recent termination.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In requesting a copy of his personnel file, a former Tooele County employee recently received quite a bit more.

The CD of information that Shane Brozovich obtained from the county's Human Resources Department contained about 200 names of current and past employees, along with their nine-digit Social Security numbers.

Brozovich, a heavy-equipment operator for Tooele County for 17 years, was terminated March 12.

"I contacted a friend and they wanted to redo my résumé," Brozovich said. "So I went to our HR director and requested a copy of my personnel file."

That information was given to him on a compact disc.

"[My friend] opened the CD and gave me a call" — alerting him to the extra, unwanted information, Brozovich said.

"Yesterday morning I got a call from the HR director, asking for the CD back," Brozovich said Wednesday. "I said, 'no, that they'd committed an offense.' "

However, by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Brozovich had relinquished the CD to the County Attorney's office.Brozovich had been reluctant to hand the CD over and was also uncertain who to give it to, fearing that the incident would get swept under the rug. However, he said he no longer wanted the disc in his possession, being keenly aware of the data's sensitive nature.

"My name is on there, I've got friends and family on there. I need to protect them at least," Brozovich said, uncertain whether he is the only person who accidentally received the information.

Reached Wednesday afternoon, Tooele County's Public Information Officer Wade Mathews said that he was aware of the situation with Brozovich and the breached data.

"The county is working to secure that information," Mathews said, adding that he was certain it was an isolated incident.

In perusing the file, Brozovich said it appeared to be county employees who had a specific type of dental insurance in 1996, along with workers who joined the Utah Public Employees Association in 1999.

On Wednesday, Brozovich contacted the Utah Attorney General's Office with the intent to turn over the CD to someone there, but was told to contact local law enforcement or county commissioners instead — or to simply return the compact disc to the HR department.

"It's the little guy against government," Brozovich said. "This is critical information that was released in error — and they want it back. There should be some justice on my end and for everyone else in that file."

Brozovich, who is currently appealing his recent termination from the county, said he received pressure from the AG's office and the county to relinquish the disc and "got tired of all the hoopla.""It turned into a big headache," Brozovich said, "so I turned it in."

cmckitrick@sltrib.com

Twitter: @catmck