Local Law School Mistakenly Releases Applicants’ Personal Data (NYLJ, reg. req’d)

August 14, 2006

By Peter Geier
New York Law Journal

Brooklyn Law School’s admissions office was dismayed to discover last week that it had printed academic calendars for its entering class of 2006 on the back of internal admissions reports containing the personal data of more than two dozen applicants.

Henry W. Haverstick III, the school’s dean of admissions and financial aid, said that though the numbers were small and the information released was not “harmful” — no Social Security numbers were disclosed — the incident was no less regrettable.

“It was a duplication error: Something got printed up on what we thought was blank paper but it wasn’t,” Mr. Haverstick said. He added that the office decided to tell the students rather than cover up its mistake.

“The best thing in a situation like that is to own up to it, don’t try to hide it and to get the information out right away to the people who are affected by it,” he said.

The admissions office mailed the calendars in orientation packets to 495 students in the 2006 entering class on Aug. 1, the dean said. On Aug. 3, a student who had received the orientation packet called to tell the admissions office that there appeared to be confidential information printed on the back, he said. An investigation indicated that the personal information of 27 applicants — three expected students and 24 students who had declined admissions offers — out of a pool of about 5,000 total applicants was printed on the back of the calendars.