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4. Personally identifying information

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  • Alaska

    In numerous instances catalogued in this outline, various pieces of personally identifying information are exempted from presumptive disclosure requirements by virtue of specific statutory provisions. In general, where disclosure of personal information is not expressly exempted by a provision of the public records act or other authorities incorporated in it, the records are disclosable unless the information at issue is intimate and sensitive personal information and the individual’s interest in privacy outweighs the public’s interest in disclosure.

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  • Arizona

    The Arizona Public Records Law does not require “disclosure from a personnel file by a law enforcement agency or employing state or local governmental entity of the home address or home telephone number of eligible persons.”  A.R.S. § 39-123(A); see A.R.S. § 39-123(F)(4) (defining “eligible person” to include, among others, “a peace officer, . . . justice, judge, commissioner, public defender, prosecutor, code enforcement officer, adult or juvenile corrections officer, corrections support staff member, probation officer, member of the board of executive clemency, law enforcement support staff member” and domestic violence victims).  In addition, a law enforcement agency can only release a photograph of a peace officer under certain specified conditions.  A.R.S. § 39-123(C).

    The names of prospects for university president, and presumably other high-level positions in public agencies, are confidential as revealing this information “could chill the attraction of the best possible candidates for the position.”  Ariz. Bd. of Regents v. Phoenix Newspapers, 167 Ariz. 254, 258, 806 P.2d 348, 352 (1991).  But “[c]andidates who actively seek a job run the risk of their desire becoming public knowledge” and therefore their names can be released to the media.  Id.

    “The identity of executioners and other persons who participate or perform ancillary functions in an execution and any information contained in records that would identify those persons is confidential and is not subject to disclosure” to the public.  A.R.S. § 13-757(C).

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  • Arkansas

    Personally identifying information is not generally exempt from disclosure. See, e.g., Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 98-131 (identification photos of employees will not usually be exempt). Personnel records are exempt only “to the extent that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(12). The fact that the employee may consider release of the information invasive of his or her privacy is not relevant. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 2005-058, 2003-027, 2001-169, 98-152, 98-101, 98-001, 97-079, 97-034, 96-222, 96-193. Some personally identifying information is closed. See, e.g., Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(13) (home addresses of non-elected employees), Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 2007-064 (dates of birth), 2007-025 (driver’s license numbers), 2006-035 (Social Security numbers).

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  • California

    There are no express exemptions from disclosure under the CPRA of personal identifying information generally.  However, personal identifying information contained in certain records is exempt. See, e.g., Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(j) (library circulation records identifying borrows of items available in the library); § 6254(u) (exempting from disclosure home address, telephone number of judicial or peace officers on applications and licenses to carry firearms). Moreover, the non-disclosure requirements of the Information Practices Act, which does protect personal identifying information contained in agency records, expressly does not apply to disclosures pursuant to the CPRA.  See Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.25(g).  With several exemptions, that Act protects “personal information” that is maintained by an agency that identifies or describes an individual, “including, but not limited to, his or her name, social security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history. It includes statements made by, or attributed to, the individual.”  Cal. Gov’t Code § 1798.3(a).  Section 6254(c) of the Government Code, the personnel records exemption, “typically appl[ies] to employee’s personnel folders or sensitive personal information which individuals must submit to the government.”  San Gabriel Tribune v. Superior Court, 143 Cal. App. 3d 762, 777, 192 Cal. Rptr. 415 (1983).  It was developed “to protect intimate details of personal and family life, not business judgments and relationships.” Braun v. City of Taft, 154 Cal. App. 3d 332, 343-34, 201 Cal. Rptr. 654 (1984).  However, “one does not lose his [or her] right to privacy upon accepting public employment…” Versaci v. Superior Court, 127 Cal. App. 4th 805, 818, 26 Cal. Rptr. 3d 92 (2005) (quoting New York Times Co. v. Superior Court, 52 Cal. App. 4th 97, 100, 60 Cal. Rptr. 2d 410 (1997) (holding that personal performance goals of former superintendent of community college district maintained in confidence as part of personnel file were exempt from disclosure under Section 6254(c)).  Names, addresses and telephone numbers of citizens have also been withheld under the catchall/public interest balancing test of Section 6255.  City of San Jose v. Superior Court, 74 Cal. App. 4th 1008, 1023, 88 Cal. Rptr. 2d 552 (1999) (holding public interest in withholding names, addresses and telephone numbers of persons who complained to city about municipal airport noise outweighed public interest served by disclosure especially in light of agency’s disclosure of other information going to complaints).

    Several other express provisions exempt from disclosure certain personal data required to be submitted to the government.  For example, statements of personal worth or personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by an applicant with such licensing agency to establish personal qualification for the license, certificate or permit applied for, are exempt from disclosure. Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(n). Financial data contained in applications for financing from the California Pollution Control Financing Authority is not subject to disclosure where an authorized officer of the Authority determines that disclosure of such financial data would be competitively injurious to the applicant and such data is required in order to obtain guarantees from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(o).

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  • Colorado

    Yes. No privacy interest in individual's names or amounts paid under severance program unless disclosure would do substantial injury to the public interest by invading the employee's constitutional privacy rights. Freedom Newspapers, Inc. v. Tollefson, 961 P.2d 1150, 1154, 1157 (Colo. App. 1998)

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  • Connecticut

    Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-217 prohibits public agencies from disclosing the home addresses of various federal, state and local government officials and employees.  See also, Comm'r of Pub. Safety v. Freedom of Info. Comm'n, 301 Conn. 323 (2011) (holding that Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-217 applies to motor vehicle grand lists and effectively supercedes Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-163).  The disclosure of such records also could constitute an "invasion of privacy."  See Records Outline at V.A.2.b.

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  • Delaware

    The disclosure of personal identifiers like home address, telephone number, e-mail address, user ID number or password, etc. may be redacted from files before being made public. Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 06-ib17 (Aug. 21, 2006).

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  • District of Columbia

    In general, under D.C. Code Ann. § 2-534(a)(2), "[i]nformation of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" is exempt from disclosure.

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  • Georgia

    The Act generally exempts from public disclosure, albeit with a news media requester exception, an individual's Social Security number, mother's birth name, debit and credit card information, bank account information, financial data or information, insurance or medical information, etc. in all records. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(20).  The Act likewise restricts, without a news media exception, access to certain sensitive identifying information concerning public employees.  § 50-18-72(a)(21).

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  • Hawaii

    Generally, an individual has a significant privacy interest in the information in his or her application for employment in a governmental position. See Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-14(b)(4). As such, OIP has determined that individually identifiable information about unsuccessful employment applicants, including their applications and exam scores, must be kept confidential because this information is protected by the exception to disclosure for “[g]overnment records which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-13(1); see also Executive Search Committee Report, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 89-2 (Oct. 27, 1989) (names of individuals recommended for selection in executive search report but who were not ultimately appointed to position); Certified List of Eligibles OIP Op. Ltr. No. 90-14 (Mar. 30, 1990) (identity of individuals on certified list of eligible appointees who were not appointed); Names of Nominees For Boards and Commissions, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 91-8 (June 24, 1991) (commission and board applications). The “frustration of a legitimate government function” exception may also be invoked to withhold the names of individuals who are eligible for appointment to a governmental position but ultimately not appointed. See Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-13(3); Certified List of Eligibles OIP Op. Ltr. No. 90-14 (Mar. 30, 1990). However, certain information on an application form that would not result in the “likelihood of actual identification” must be made available for public inspection. See Job Eligibles List and Unsuccessful Job Applicants Information, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 95-2 (Jan. 19, 1995).

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  • Idaho

    Information relating to a public employee or applicant’s sex, race, marital status, birth date, home address and telephone number may not be disclosed without the employee’s or applicant’s written consent.  Idaho Code § 74-106(1).  Vital statistic records are specifically exempt.  Idaho Code § 74-106(4)(e).

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  • Illinois

    Closed.  5 ILCS 140/2; 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(b).  Exempt is “private information, which “means unique identifiers including a person's social security number, driver's license number, employee identification number, biometric identifiers, personal financial information, passwords or other access codes, medical records, home or personal telephone numbers, and personal email addresses, as well as home address and personal license plates, except as otherwise provided by law or when compiled without possibility of attribution to any person.” 5 ILCS 140/ 2(c-5).

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  • Indiana

    Certain personally identifiable personnel information must be provided under Indiana Code Section 5-14-3-4(b)(8): the name, compensation, job title, business address, business telephone number, job description, education and training background, previous work experience, dates of first and last employment of present or former officers or employees of the agency, information relating to the status of any formal charge against the employee, and information about disciplinary actions in which final action has been taken and resulted in the employee being disciplined.

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  • Iowa

    Confidential.

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  • Kansas

    Information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy is excepted. K.S.A. 45-221(a)(30).  The definition of “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” is in K.S.A. 45-217(b).

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  • Kentucky

    The Open Records Act exempts “records containing information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.878(1)(a). As such, agencies may redact information such as home address, telephone number, date of birth and Social Security number in records that are otherwise nonexempt. Ky. New Era v. City of Hopkinsville, 415 S.W.3d 76 (Ky. 2013); Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.878(4); 93-ORD-118; 95-ORD-151.

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  • Louisiana

    Such records should be treated as a public record and should be produced to a requester absent an applicable exemption, if they otherwise fall within the definition of “public record.” The Act contains numerous exemptions for these types of records, such as for the home addresses and telephone numbers of public employees and their bank account information, social security numbers of public employees, medical records of current or former public employees, etc. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44:4(11)(A), (11)(C), (12) and (15).

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  • Maine

    A public employee’s personal contact information – home address, home telephone number, home facsimile number, home e-mail address and personal cellular telephone number and personal pager number – is confidential. 1 M.R.S.A. § 402(3)(O). This exemption does not apply to elected officials; their personal contact information remains public.

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  • Maryland

    Personal identification information (e.g., income, address, phone number, Social Security number, etc.) is considered sociological data.  COMAR 12.11.02.02B(13).  If the agency has adopted rules or regulations that define sociological information, then the custodian shall deny inspection of the part of the public record containing sociological information. § 4-330. The PIA does not delineate the type of information subject to this exemption. Rather, the agency must define what constitutes sociological information by regulation before access to such information may be denied. Id.  In addition, information that identifies an individual by an identifying factor is protected from disclosure by § 4-401. Identifying factors include: address, description, finger or voice print, number, or picture. §§ 4-401, -501. However, access may be permitted for research purposes. § 4-501(c)(5)(iv).

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  • Michigan

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Montana

    Social security numbers and birth dates are to be redacted from court records.

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  • Nebraska

    May be withheld. Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-712.05(7).

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  • Nevada

    Generally redacted pursuant to Donrey of Nevada, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 106 Nev. 630 (1990).

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  • New Hampshire

    Lamy v. N.H. Public Utilities Commission, 152 N.H. 106 (2005)(names of residential customers of public utility); Brent v. Paquette, 132 N.H. 415 (1989)(names of school children and their parents).

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  • New Mexico

    “Protected personal identifier information” is exempt.  “Protected personal identifier information” includes “(1) all but the last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, or driver’s license number; (2) all but the year of a person’s date of birth; and (3) a social security number.”  This type of information does not exempt the entire document from inspection.  NMSA 1978 § 14-2-1(B).  However, a public body must redact this information from public records before the records are inspected or copied. NMSA 1978 § 14-2-1(B).

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  • North Carolina

    Only the specifically identified “personnel records” are public.

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  • North Dakota

    Personal information is exempt. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.1. Personal information includes a person’s home address; home telephone number or personal cell phone number; photograph; medical information; motor vehicle operator's identification number; public employee identification number; payroll deduction information; the name, address, telephone number, and date of birth of any dependent or emergency contact; any credit, debit, or electronic fund transfer card number; and any account number at a bank or other financial institution. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.1.

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  • Ohio

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Ohio Supreme Court have interpreted the federal constitutional right of privacy as barring release of certain kinds of information to at least specific classes of requesters. Kallstrom v. City of Columbus, 136 F.3d 1055 (1998) (names, addresses, drivers licenses of undercover police officers contained in police personnel files when requested by attorney for dangerous criminal defendants); State ex rel. Keller v. Cox, 85 Ohio St.3d 279, 707 N.E.2d 931 (1999) (same); State ex rel. McCleary v. Roberts, 88 Ohio St.3d 365, 725 N.E.2d 1144, 2000-Ohio-345 (home addresses and telephone numbers for minors who applied for identification badges to facilitate use of municipal recreation facilities to requester who posed no threat of harm; State ex rel. Beacon Journal Publishing Co. v. City of Akron, 70 Ohio St.3d 605, 640 N.E.2d 164 (1994) (Social Security numbers to requester who posed no threat of harm).

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  • Oklahoma

    Public bodies shall keep confidential the home address, telephone numbers and social security numbers of any person employed or formerly employed by the public body. 51 O.S. § 24A.7.D. The Oklahoma Attorney General issued an opinion that greatly expanded the definition of personally identifying information, holding that a “public body has discretion to determine that disclosing a personnel record indicating the date of birth of an employee of the public body is an "unwarranted invasion of [the] personal privacy" of the employee under the Open Records Act. In making such a determination, the public body must weigh the employee's interest in nondisclosure against the public's interest in disclosing the record. If the public body determines that the employee's interest in nondisclosure is greater, it may keep the birth date confidential and disclose the remainder of the personnel record.” 2009 OK AG 33.  However, the Supreme Court has held that release of birth dates and employee identification number of state employees would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  Okla. Public Employees Assoc. v. State ex rel Okla. Office of Personnel Management, 2011 OK 68.   

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  • Oregon

    ORS 192.355(2) (former192.502(2)) exempts “[i]nformation of a personal nature such as but not limited to that kept in a personal, medical or similar file, if public disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, unless the public interest by clear and convincing evidence requires disclosure in the particular instance,” and places the burden on the party seeking disclosure to show that disclosure would not be an unreasonable invasion of privacy. However, information in such a file that is not personal or the disclosure of which would not be an unreasonable invasion of privacy is not exempt. Attorney General Manual § I(E)(4)(e)(2). See also ORS 192.368.

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  • Rhode Island

    Personally identifying information is subject to the standard set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-2(4)(A)(I)(b).  R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-2(4)(A)(I)(b) permits access to the following information that is identifiable to an individual employee: “the name, gross salary, salary range, total cost of paid fringe benefits, gross amount received in overtime, and any other remuneration in addition to salary, job title, job description, dates of employment and positions held with the state, municipality, employment contract, or public works contractor or subcontractor on public works projects work location, and/or project, business telephone number, the city or town of residence, and date of termination.”

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  • South Carolina

    Personally identifying information in state records may not be used for commercial solicitation. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-2-50.

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  • South Dakota

    Closed. SDCL §1-27-1.5(7).

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  • Tennessee

    Generally open, but closed in several settings E.g., T.C.A. 10-7-504(q),(t). Also Social Security Numbers and driver’s license numbers are always protected T.C.A. 10-7-504(a)(29)(c)(i),(ii). T.C.A. § 4-4-125. In Patterson v. Convention Center Authority, 421 S.W. 3d. 597 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2013), the court ruled residential addresses of employees of third party contractors working on government construction projects were public. In Moncier v. Harris, 2017 Tenn. App LEXIS 165 (Mar. 10, 2017) the court ruled all residential addresses of all persons were confidential information under § 10-7-504(q). The legislature, however, later amended that code section to eliminate addresses from the category of protected information.

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  • Texas

    Section 552.101 specifically excepts information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision. This includes employee birth dates. Tex. Comptroller of Pub. Accounts, 354 S.W.3d at 347; see also Abbott v. State Bar of Texas, 214 S.W.3d 604, 606, 609 (Tex. App.—Austin 2007, pet. denied) (State Bar of Texas maintains membership records “for the judiciary,” and therefore, access to such records is governed by Rule 12 rather than the TPIA).

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  • Utah

    a. The names, business addresses, business telephone numbers, gross compensation, job description, gender, etc. of former and present government entity employees are generally public. Utah Code § 63G-2-301(2)(b).

    b. “[E]mployment records concerning a current or former employee of, or applicant for employment with, a governmental entity that would disclose that individual’s home address, home telephone number, social security number, insurance coverage, marital status, or payroll deductions” are private. Id. § 63G-2-302(1)(g).

    c. “[T]hat part of a record indicating a person’s social security number or federal employer identification number” is private. Id. § 63G-2-302(1)(i).

    d. That part of a voter registration record identifying a voter’s driver license or identification card number; Social Security number, or last four digits of the Social Security number; email address; or date of birth. Id. § 63G-2-302(1)(j).

    e. Also exempt from disclosure are (1) “an individual’s home address, home telephone number, or personal mobile phone number, if: (a) the individual is required to provide the information in order to comply with a law, ordinance, rule, or order of a government entity; and (b) the subject of the record has a reasonable expectation that this information will be kept confidential due to: (i) the nature of the law, ordinance, rule, or order; and (ii) the individual complying with the law, ordinance, rule, or order”; and (2) “the name, home address, work addresses, and telephone numbers of an individual that is engaged in, or that provides goods or services for, medical or scientific research that is: (a) conducted within the state system of higher education . . . ; and (b) conducted using animals.” Id. § 63G-2-305(51), (52).

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  • Vermont

    “Personal documents relating to an individual, including information in any files maintained to hire, evaluate, promote, or discipline any employee of a public agency, information in any files relating to personal finances, medical or psychological facts concerning any individual or corporation.”  1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(7).  However, “all information in personnel files of an individual employee of any public agency shall be made available to that individual employee or his or her designated representative.”  Id.

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  • Virginia

    The first five digits of a Social Security Number contained in a public record are excluded from the Act. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3815.A.

    Social Security Numbers and driver’s license numbers are included in specific exclusions in the Act. See, e.g., Va. Code § 2.2-3705.7.16.

    “Personal contact information” including home or business addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, provided to a public body for purposes of receiving emails from the public body  are excluded.  Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3705.1.10.

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  • Washington

    The residential addresses, telephone numbers, wireless numbers, personal email addresses, social security numbers, and emergency contact information of employees or volunteers of a public agency are exempt from disclosure. RCW 42.56.250(3).

    An appellate court has held that public employees’ state constitutional right of privacy is violated by disclosure of public records containing their dates of birth in connection with their full name. The supreme court is reviewing the decision. Washington Public Employees Association v. Washington State Center for Childhood Deafness & Hearing Loss, 404 P.3d 111 (2017), review granted, 190 Wn.2d 1002 , 413 P.3d 15 (2018).

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    Social security numbers, financial account numbers, and month and day of birth are to be redacted from court and other records.

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