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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2015 02:22 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Right-to-Know Law - Birth Date Exemption
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation introduced as Senate Bill 473 in the 2013-2014 legislative session. The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Kitchen, Brewster, Teplitz, Fontana, Greenleaf, Rafferty, Washington, Ferlo, Waugh, Hughes, Tartaglione, Farnese, Boscola, and Williams.

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 identity theft, credit fraud, and/or harassment. With the vast array of personal information available on the Internet, the association of a birth date to an employee’s identity may reveal other information including addresses, family members, and marital status which could further be used to find financial information and credit ratings. 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 the definition of personal identification information narrowly and will not expand the exemption to include birth date without language being placed in statute.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB508