May 8, 2001

Maine: HSLDA Stops Department of Education's Public Disclosure of Private Information

The Internet is an invaluable tool for communication of knowledge and information. The flip side, however, is when the free availability of information can also be harmful. One such instance is where a website contains information that is intended only for administrative use and not public display.

An HSLDA member in Maine, who is also an administrator of a non-approved private school, was browsing the Maine Department of Education website and noticed a list of all non-approved private schools in the state. Many home schoolers in Maine operate under a non-approved private school.

This list of non-approved private schools, posted alongside lists of approved private and public schools, contained personally identifiable information regarding the administrators of the schools including such items as home address and phone numbers.

Concerned about the privacy of these administrators, the member informed HSLDA of the list. HSLDA immediately contacted the department of education, expressing our concern and requesting that the list be removed from public view.

The department subsequently removed the list.