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Harvard Business School – When in trouble, find a scapegoat.

Slashdot | Harvard Business School: You Peek, You Lose

From the article: “Seems Harvard Business school was using the ApplyYourself web service to process applications. Sometime in the last few days, an anonymous hacker, known as ‘brookbond’, was able to crack the system, and discovered that Harvard had already posted acceptance letters to the website fully a month before they were to be mailed to their recipients. He posted instructions on how applicants could view their letters at the BusinessWeek forums, and approximately 119 applicants followed his advice. Today, the dean of the Harvard Business School, one Kim Clark, announced that none of the 119 would be admitted: ‘This behavior is unethical at best — a serious breach of trust that cannot be countered by rationalization… Any applicant found to have done so will not be admitted to this school.”

This sounds unethical, doesn’t it? I mean, it says “hacking”. Oooh – must be really bad.

However, the reality of the situation is that simply by changing a few words in the URL, the applicant could see his “ding” letter (you know, thanks but no thanks we’re not interested) or a blank page. Apparently, nobody saw an admission letter.

This was because the ApplyYourself web service posted secure information on a non-secure browser. The people who deserve to be blamed are probably the administrators of the ApplyYourself site since they made the information available in an easy to discover manner.

This is not unethical. These applicants are entitled to know any decision regarding their admission to business school. The date of receiving that knowledge doesn’t matter. If Harvard said they would send an admission letter on or after July 1st, and the applicant gets the letter on June 30th, does that mean he has to wait a day before he can open the letter? No.

There’s only one word to describe those in charge at HBS: Fuckers.

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One Reply to “Harvard Business School – When in trouble, find a scapegoat.”

  1. jhaggard76

    Adam,

    I can’t send a stupid email from the computer I am using so a blog post is the best way to respond. I am going to be in Europe until July 20th, unless I stay longer. There is a high probability that I will not stay longer.

    Jason

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