Two weeks ago, the city of Ann Arbor took a deliberate step to remove a document that had been publicly available on its website for nearly half a decade. Why?
Allegedly, that document contains information that – if it were disclosed – would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of someone’s privacy. Never mind the fact that the context of the document itself makes clear that the information in question is clearly and deliberately intended to be publicly available.
To erase any possible doubt about that, I resorted to an advanced investigative technique: I asked the guy. And it turns out that current Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board member John Splitt had been content to have email@example.com publicly disclosed as his email contact information in the document – the same as elsewhere on the Internet.
The document in question is RFP No. 743 – issued in 2009 by the city for development of the Library Lot. Why did it even occur to anyone at the city to delete RFP No. 743 from a2gov.org?