Under Massachusetts law, Harvard must notify affected residents and state officials if there is a breach in the security of Massachusetts residents' "personal information." The law defines "personal information" as a Massachusetts resident's first name or first initial and last name in combination with any of the following - social security number, driver's license number, state issued identification card number, or financial account or credit or debit card number with or without any required security or access code.
Like all large organizations, the University receives requests for information or site visits from government regulatory and investigative agencies. Sometimes, the inquiry involves a matter in which the University is directly involved (e.g., an inspection of Harvard's facilities by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
Information you convey to the OGC in connection with seeking legal advice is privileged as to third parties and will be treated by us in confidence. As you would expect, such information is not withheld from other University officials who have a need to know it.
When a person or business files for bankruptcy protection, a Notice of Bankruptcy is sent to the likely creditors of that person or organization. Harvard University might be a creditor of a bankrupt person or business (known as a "Debtor"), meaning the University may be owed money or services from the Debtor.
Federal law requires that special procedures be followed when the University receives a subpoena or other request for educational records concerning individual students. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as the "Buckley Amendment") provides that, with certain exceptions, educational records may not be disclosed to persons outside the University other than the student.
From time to time, University personnel receive official legal documents. Examples include subpoenas requiring the University to produce copies of records in court proceedings, summonses notifying the University that a lawsuit has been commenced against it, notices of bankruptcy, and notices informing the University of its right to participate in consumer class action suits. Such notices are sometimes addressed to the University itself -- "Harvard University" or "President and Fellows of Harvard College," the University's legal name -- or to individually named officials of the University.