Thousands of Katy ISD employees' info potentially leaked in IRS audit

IRS agent misplaces flash drive containing present, former employees' information

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

KATY, Texas - More than 11,000 workers' personal information, including birth dates, addresses, and Social Security numbers were potentially leaked during a random IRS audit.

The district is now trying to clean up the mess and wants the government to pay for it.

"Irresponsible and ridiculous, who carries around that information and then loses it?" asked a Katy ISD teacher.

The teacher said the potential data breach is the fault of the IRS, and now the district is trying to pick up the pieces.

In an email to Katy ISD employees obtained by KPRC 2, Katy ISD Superintendent Alton Frailey explained the security breach. He said that Wednesday, the IRS conducted a random audit on the district.

The IRS agent had a flash drive containing almost 12,000 present and former employees' private information, such as birth dates, addresses, and Social Security numbers. But that agent later misplaced that flash drive.

The school district has signed them up for credit monitoring and identity theft protection for three years at no cost to employees.

"We are informing you of this incident so you can be aware of our efforts to minimize or eliminate potential harm," Frailey said in the letter.

The IRS later released a statement on the breach. It reads in part, "The IRS takes the security of taxpayer information very seriously and actively works with the Treasurer Inspector General for Tax Administration when issues involving sensitive information arise."

Even with the help to minimize damages and find the flash drive, teachers said it doesn't make it any better.

"This is the branch of government they're giving more power to and you lose my Social Security number? I'm not feeling real strong and secure about this government," a teacher said.

The flash drive has not been located.

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