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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2013 04:11 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Right-to-Know Law - Birth Date Exemption
Please join me in sponsoring legislation introduced as Senate Bill 864 in the 2011-2012 session by Senators COSTA, WILLIAMS, HUGHES, WHITE, GREENLEAF, WASHINGTON, FONTANA, WAUGH, BREWSTER, KITCHEN and TARTAGLIONE, that amends the Right-to-Know Law to add birth date to the list of exceptions under the personal identification information that are exempt from access by a requester.

The exposure to fraud and identity theft has increased exponentially with the Internet. There is concern that the release of birth dates may expose public employees to greater risk of credit fraud and harassment. With the vast array of personal information available on the Internet, the association of a birth date to an employee’s identity readily reveals other information including addresses, family members and marital status and then to financial information and credit. Because the age of an employee may arguably be pertinent to some authentic inquiry, that or the birth year may be provided to a requestor, but the specific birth date should be expressly prohibited.

It has been brought to my attention that the Office of Open Records has traditionally construed this provision narrowly and will not expand the definition of personal security to include birth date without language being placed in statute.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Introduced as SB473