little league

    Taking one for the team

    Scene: Nick’s intermediate league baseball game.

    Bottom of the last inning. Other team at bat. 2 outs. 2 on base. Winning hitter at bat. Fly to right field. Nick makes a beautiful diving catch and comes up with the ball, ending the game for his team to win…

    …then runs off the field holding his arm.

    One rushed trip to the office for x-rays later, and it’s confirmed: he broke the same wrist that he broke last year when he fell off his skateboard.

    I’ll hand it to the kid: he plays hard. If you’re going to get hurt, you may as well do it heroically.

    Little League wants all your information

    To sign kids up for our city’s Little League baseball program, you have to prove that they’re residents, which is reasonable. What’s not reasonable is the amount of information you have to provide on the registration website. You have to upload scans of a document in each of 3 categories:

    Proof of Residency 1 Choose one of the following: Driver’s license, School records, Vehicle records, Employment records, Insurance documents

    Proof of Residency 2 Choose one of the following: Welfare/child care records, Federal records, State records, Local records, Support payment records, Homeowner or tenant records, Military records

    Proof of Residency 3 Choose one of the following: Voter’s registration, Utility bills, Financial records, Medical records, Internet, cable, or satellite bills

    That alone is ripe for identity theft, but couple it with their privacy policy which includes this (emphasis mine):

    Without limitation, this typically requires the use of certain personal information, including registration data, event data, and other personal information, to provide program information, special offers or services through Little League and/or its trusted sponsors, partners, or licensees, to fulfill your requests for information or products/services, to maintain a list of verified and eligible participants, to maintain a list of volunteers and provide them with the operating tools to manage leagues, or to respond to your inquiries about our programs.

    In other words, you have to upload your most private information and agree to allow them to do as they like with it, including sharing it with whomever they like for any reason they choose.

    This is unacceptable.

    Update 2021-05-20

    I contacted the company that manages Little League’s registrations and asked them to delete the documents I uploaded in order to sign up. They replied that their policy is to do that as soon as they’ve been evaluated. I asked the company to verify that they’d deleted our documents specifically. They replied with a video demonstrating that the files were no longer available. Great! The video included the PII of the families on either side of us on the list. Not great!

    And that’s one big reason why I didn’t want to trust them with our information in the first place.

    Our info plus a couple of other families'