Magazine article Information Management

Conn. High Court: Public Universities Can Withhold Records

Magazine article Information Management

Conn. High Court: Public Universities Can Withhold Records

Article excerpt

Public universities can withhold records using a "trade secrets" exemption, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled.

The case, University of Connecticut v. Freedom of Information Commission, came from a 2008 freedom of information request by former state Democrat Rep. Jonathan Pelto seeking information from the University of Connecticut (UConn). According to the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), he requested the names of the athletic department's season ticket holders, the performing arts' database of subscribers and ticket purchasers, the Center for Continuing Studies' database of people interested in programs offered, and the library's donor database.

A lower court declared three of the four databases trade secrets under the statute as "customer lists." The court did not consider the library's database to be a customer list, but still sent it to the state's Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC) to determine whether the list may still be protected under the trade secret exemption, the SPLC reported. …

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