MCC Secrecy on 10,000 Person Data Breach Costs $5,700

Ever since early last August, when student Melissa Denker sent  me a copy of the letter she received from McHenry County College regarding the compromising of her personal identifiers by college consultant Ellucian, I searched for the number of students and, it turns out, staff affected.

Letter to McHenry County College student Melissa Denker informing her that her Social Security number has been sent to three community colleges.

Letter to McHenry County College student Melissa Denker informing her that her Social Security number has been sent to three community colleges.

At every turn, MCC officials fought the release…until the Illinois Attorney General’s Office concluded that there was no legitimate reason for withholding the information that I had requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Shortly after the breach, Advocate Medical Group and Target had their data bases compromised, but both took a different approach–one of transparency.

It made me wonder why private organizations would come clean with the public, but our governmental junior college would not.

But, finally, the number was made public (if only on McHenry County Blog).

10,000 people had their identities breached.

I asked how much fighting my FOIA request had cost taxpayers.

Here’s what MCC provided:

  • 9/6/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Review conference correspondence, telephone follow-up
  • 9/11/13 – .25 hours – $58.75 – Telephone conference
  • 9/18/13 – .75 hours – $176.25 – Preliminary review & analyze, telephone conference
  • 9/19/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Legal research
  • 9/19/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Additional review
  • 9/20/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Review & analyze
  • 9/22/13 – 2.5 hours – $587.50 – Prepare…identity…identity…transmit
  • 9/24/13 – 0.5 hours – $0 – Prepare fax and arrange for transmission
  • 9/24/13 – 2.5 hours – $587.50 – Preparation…supplement
  • 9/25/13 – 2.25 hours – $528.75 – Prepare…review and finalize…transmit
  • 9/25/13 – 0.75 hours – $176.25 – Telephone conference…telephone call
  • 9/25/13 – 2.25 hours – $528.75 – Supplement
  • 10/1/13 – 0.25 hours – $58.75 – Telephone call
  • 10/1/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Follow-up correspondence…correspondence
  • 10/2/13 – 0.25 hours – $58.75 – Receive and review
  • 10/3/13 – 1 hour – $235 – Analyze…conference
  • 10/3/13 – .5 hours – $117.50 – …analysis
  • 10/7/13 – .75 hours – $176.25 – Telephone conference
  • 10/7/13 – .25 hours – $58.75 – Correspondence
  • 10/8/13 – 1 hour – $235 – [No purposed listed]
  • 10/9/13 – 1.75 hours – $411.25 – Prepare
  • 10/9/13 – 1.25 hours – $293.75 – Correspondence…receive, review and analyze
  • 10/10/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Prepare
  • 10/10/13 – 1.5 hours – $352.50 – Revise and supplement
  • 10/10/13 – .75 hours – $176.25 – Prepare
  • 10/17/13 – 0.5 hours – $117.50 – Meet
  • 10/29/13 – .25 hours – $58.75 – Telephone conference

$5,698.75 to keep it secret that 10,000 people’s identities had been compromised.

The initials of the billing attorney are “NNR.”  They are for Nanci Rogers from Robbins Schwartz.


Comments

MCC Secrecy on 10,000 Person Data Breach Costs $5,700 — 8 Comments

  1. All of which authorized, presumably, by the MCC President.

    Was the Board kept informed of the attorney’s work and estimated cost?

  2. This is probably the tip of the iceberg.

    Time for a thorough investigation into MCC starting with the president.

    Time to contact “For the Good of Illinois” Open the Books – think of how our ridiculously high taxes could be lowered just with a cleanup of MCC & MCCD!

    Then on to the schools.

  3. It may be time to impose mandatory fines each time an organization breaches your identity.

    These form letters are not punitive enough to cause a change in procedures, they barely caused a ripple in each organization.

    This article mentions three organizations in short period of time that disclosed personal and confidential information without consent.

    Would you give me your social security number, name, address, and date of birth if I told you that I would mail you a letter if I passed it on to someone else?

  4. When I was in High School, the then Secretary of State died and they found $800 K in cash, stuffed in shoeboxes and in total, this clown was worth $4.6 M. Remarkable for the fact he never earned over $30 K per year.

    How did Taxpayers react then?

    They did nothing.

    Maybe they believed this thief’s once public statement, that the “only worse thing than a defeated Pol. was a broke one”.

    Since, we’ve had Walkers, Daley’s, Blago’s to name a few and your worried about $5698 of waste by the usual Gov. rabble?

    Rediculous.

  5. What is ridiculous is people waking up to smell the coffee and blaming everyone else for not being awake previously; and then to top it off – going back to sleep!

  6. Cal, are you covering the power plant meetings?

    I guarantee you’ll have responses now that the word has gotten around.

    Over 800 people on a Facebook page against it.

  7. Are the costs listed above just the data from the legal bills?

    Or does it include time spent by MCC employees in addition to what the law firm billed the college?

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