ASU’s General Council botches FOIA request, releases social security numbers of several officers!

Earlier this year, we submitted a MASSIVE FOIA request to the Office of General Council for the FY13 budget documents, as well as departmental requisitions for training and equipment. We are acutely familiar with the way the State of Arizona’s FOIA laws work; under Arizona’s Public Records exemption, information which would be considered an invasion of personal privacy and would outweigh the public’s right to know and can be redacted. This can include addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, and social security numbers.

Therefore, after we received and preliminarily reviewed our FOIA request, we were acting upon the good faith that ASU’s General Council did their jobs and redacted the personal information contained in the files we requested (we looked at all 300+ pages of the file to the best of our ability). However, this morning we received several emails from concerned readers of The Integrity Report who let us know that several of the requisitions submitted for training between 2012-2013 contained FULL social security numbers that were NOT redacted! We have subsequently removed the entire FY 13 budget until we can redact the personal information of officers/police employees.

Coming from a university that claimed showing a picture of an officer’s vehicle was a security threat…releasing the social security numbers of police employees on public documents is a MUCH larger security threat!! With a SSN number, an officer’s identity, credit, and bank account could be completely compromised! This situation also begs the question: what other personal information has ASU released to the public via a FOIA request? The possibilities are endless.

We will be contacting all the officers personally whose information was released by ASU via a public records request, so they are aware of the situation.

Clearly, the safety and security of ASUPD’s employees isn’t too concerning to university administration. It’s not enough to allow staffing to reach alarming levels which can compromise the lives of sworn and civilian employees alike; ASU must ALSO compromise their employees financial livelihoods as well!

We’re expecting some sort of “damage control” email on behalf of ASU’s General Council shortly.