The University of Chicago accidentally published some employees' social security numbers in a recent mailing, the school informed recipients Friday via email.
As many as 9,100 employees' personal data was made public.
According to the internal email sent to NBC Chicago by an anonymous staffer, the numbers were published on postcard reminders to employees about open enrollment for benefits. The mailing was sent Monday, and school officials said they found out Thursday that each recipient's social security number was printed in the address bar below the bar code.
"We deeply regret this error and we are committed to working with everyone involved to rectify the problem and make sure that it will not happen again," the school wrote.
A university spokesman said U of C took immediate action to alert staffers.
The email stated they do not suspect the error will result in identity theft because "this personal information was directed only to its owner through first-class mail."
Still the school offered a free year of credit monitoring and encouraged employees not only to securely dispose of the mailing but also to watch for any misuse of their social security numbers. Phone numbers also were provided in the email for three major credit reporting agencies along with instructions for reviewing credit reports for suspicious activity.
"The University is committed to maintaining privacy in our community, and we are taking corrective measures to prevent this situation from recurring," the email stated. "Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience or disruption that might arise from our error."