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Both the House and Senate have now passed the omnibus Data Practices Bill containing the League-sponsored privacy provision.
(Published Apr 25, 2013)
On April 25th the House passed the Omnibus Data Practices Bill, HF 695/SF 745 (Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins), which contains the Citizen Contact Information Protection provision supported by the League of Minnesota Cities. The contact information provision was a stand-alone bill authored by Sen. Bev Scalze (DFL-Little Canada) and Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley) that was added to the omnibus bill.
The final vote on the bill was 73-58. As in the Senate, the no votes primarily reflected concerns with provisions related to collection and retention of newborn health screening data. The Senate passed its version of the Omnibus Data Practices Bill on April 18th, and the bill will now go to a conference committee where language differences will be worked out between the two bodies.
The legislation would make email addresses and phone numbers submitted to cities by individuals private data, if they were submitted to receive information of a general nature from the city. The Senate version states that contact information collected by cities can only be used for the specific purpose for which the individual provided the data. This is not currently in the House version.
Under current law, if a city collects an email address or phone number from a citizen, the email address becomes public data, and must be given to any person who asks for it. Email addresses and phone numbers can be used by solicitors, telemarketers, campaign organizations, or even by those attempting to scam citizens out of more sensitive personal information.
The League will continue to work with cities and interested legislators as the bill continues its way through the legislative process.
Questions? Contact Patrick Hynes at email@example.com or at (651) 281-1260.
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